The Music Lovers' majestic chamber pop, at turns impassioned and discrete, is arranged in various guises on the band's second full-length, The Music Lovers' Guide for Young People: punctuated with horns ("Thank You, Cornelius Cardew") and embalmed in strings ("You Have the City"), seized by rock 'n' roll revolt ("Habit", "Plain Boyish") and folkish jangle ("A Hell of a Kid"). The San Francisco-based band is fronted by singer/songwriter Matthew Edwards, a Birmingham, England expat whose voice cops the theatricality of Morrissey with Bowie's Lodger-era vibrato. His songs are rich with imagery and full of movement, and the Music Lovers hold their arrangements tight like they were overseeing cautiously arranged tableaus. Pop music this agreeable and ambitious deserves a listen, even if the Lovers' exquisiteness proves an acquired taste to select listeners only.
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