Back Numbers

Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips, of course, are former members of the band Luna, which called it quits in early 2005. Wareham had founded the band in the early '90s, with Phillips joining only in 2000. But their partnership flourished, both personally and creatively.

Now married as well as a musical duo, the two have made their second album together outside of Luna. Just like their last one, it's produced by Tony Visconti with tasteful restraint and features a mixture of covers and originals. While the last album was over half cover songs, Back Numbers is actually primarily original compositions with a sprinkling of well-chosen interpretations. Material by others includes songs originally by The Troggs, Donovan, and Lee Hazlewood.

In fact, the Lee Hazlewood song is one of the album's standouts, with Phillips taking front and center on "You Turned My Head Around." Originals such as the Wareham-led "Words You Used to Say" combine laid-back vocals with vaguely '80s synthesizers, making for a fascinating listening experience.

While in Luna, Wareham always seemed to use as a model the beautiful cacophony of the Velvet Underground. With Dean & Britta, the target sound is from roughly the same era, but aiming higher on the charts, towards the folk-pop crooners and airy chanteuses that weren't quite rock but always sounded cool.

Mike Sauter, WYEP Music Director