Luna’s Dean Wareham has studied pop’s great rakes for tips on how to age gracefully and knows rule No. 1: Get yourself a backing orchestra and a hottie duet partner. This side project with bandmate Britta Phillips was no doubt inspired by his winning 1995 cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s ”Bonnie and Clyde” with Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, and it’s full of tag-team come-ons, deliciously overripe string arrangements, and lines like ”slowly screwin’ my way across Europe” that suggest Lou Reed doing Lee Hazlewood karaoke. Fans may bum over the shortage of Wareham’s sparkling guitar leads, but he does let it rip on ”Threw It Away.”
POP-CULTURE FUN FACT Saturday-morning-TV babies may recall Phillips as the singing voice of ’80s glam-rock cartoon heroine Jem.