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Luna

At its best, Luna sounded catchy and fun, in a disposable-pop kind of way. At its worst, Luna seemed boring and contrived. But now, with its seventh and final album, Luna has released its best, most spirited, and most relaxed work to date.

Rendezvous opens with the ingeniously simple "Malibu Love Nest," which features soft, driving guitar-strumming that swells on slide guitar accents. Other songs like "Speedbumps" and the reverb attack of "Astronaut" reflect a similar guitar sound, augmented by ambient effects. The dreamy "Cindy Tastes of Barbecue" and "The Owl & the Pussycat" offer a softer sound that seems to capture the breezy feel of a night under palm trees on a Hawaiian beach. Rendezvous reveals Luna not trying so damn hard for tight, sweet pop confections. -- Hans Morgenstern

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