Romantica

Can indie alt-rockers maintain a sense of unpolished realness while making music that's widely accessible and even achingly beautiful? Yes—and Luna (again) offers proof with this entrancing mix

Can indie alt-rockers maintain a sense of unpolished realness while making music that's widely accessible and even achingly beautiful? Yes—and Luna (again) offers proof with this entrancing mix of laid-back melodies. Singer/ lyricist Dean Wareham may not have the clearest pitch or the widest range, but his gentle, understated delivery is powerfully seductive and his lyrics remain smartly original. Ethereal guitars and languid percussion help create a hypnotic, dreamy effect, expertly illustrated on the stunning opener "Lovedust." Romantica never gets drowsy, though, thanks to quick bursts of energy from lively numbers like "Black Postcards." By making an album that's utterly listenable without sacrificing its integrity, Luna provides the season's greatest guilty pleasure—without the guilt.—WH