Eternal Youth by Future Bible Heroes Cd
"Those familiar with Stephin Merritt will be unsurprised (and maybe - like me - disappointed) to discover he pursues his idiosyncratic ways with the second FBH album. All the elements for a classic electro-pop album are present, yet Merritt and partner-in-crime Christopher Ewen twist everything to create a ghostly, morose work. "Eternal Youth" only fitfully achieves the pop splendour of "Memories of Love", and there's certainly no "Hopeless" on this new album.
There are compensations: "A Thousand Lovers In A Day", "No River", and the closing "The World Is A Disco Ball" combine exquisite melodies with elegant yet forbidding lyrics and arrangements. It's certainly not an album to hear as casual background music (it's jaggedly poppy and unsettling), and I agree with the reviewer who thinks this album sounds like Merritt's earlier album "The Wayward Bus". Claudia Gonson's limitations as the album's sole vocalist sometimes make it hard going. I don't understand why Merritt doesn't utilise better vocalists; 'naive' singers like Shirley Simms and Dudley Klute on "69 Love Songs" transformed good songs into minor classics.
Some may find it regressive, but the sounds on "Eternal Youth" are far more textured and polished than anything Merritt creates with Magnetic Fields. Obviously he's committed to the art of the 3 minute pop song, but I keep hoping Merritt will expand his musical horizons."