Luke Steele seems like a pretty weird dude. Having seen his band, The Sleepy Jackson perform like and witness the Tattoo meets Don Johnson vibe he emits was pretty strange and had me on edge when it came to picking up his bandís debut album, Lovers. However, since that wayward show in November of 2002, Luke has cleaned house, brought in two new band members and penned a downright brilliant debut album. Blending the psych pop The Beach Boys with the West Coast Pop of Gram Parsons and adding some Beatles and Velvet Undergroundaspects for good measure, Lovers is quite an experience. First single ìVampire Racecourseî (Player .045 DVD), is a raucous romp through a field on flowers while on psilocybin, ìRain Falls For Windî incorporates early ë90s indie influences to produce something special. The West Coast twang is evident on ìAcid In My Heart,î ìMiniskirt,î and ìThis Day,î while the weirdness returns on ìFill Me With Apples. Lovers is one of those rare albums, one that you hear something a little different each time you listen, due to the various layers and instrumentation. A psychedelic pop record for the ages, it brings to mind classic albums of the past 10 years like Flaming Lipsí Soft Bulletin or Mercury Revís Deserterís Songs. Yes, Lovers is that good. Sure to be a year-end top 10 favorite.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN