says: Dean & Britta


Dean & Britta
Back Numbers (Zöe Records)

Dean and BrittaTell me something, are Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips the Nick and Nora Charles of alt-rock? Listening to their second duet album, Back Numbers, the duo exude an offbeat “sexy married couple” feel seldom seen since the Thin Man sleuthing couple’s heyday. It’s the kind thing you’d expect from people whose lineage includes both Galaxie 500 and cartoondom’s Jem. The album is a relaxed affair with a smart mixture of originals and odd covers (two Troggs tunes, a Donovan b-side, a Lee Hazlewood composition, and the theme song from an old British kiddie show) which give off the perfect “aging hipster” vibe. Vocally, both have never sounded better — the sparkling cushion of sound supplied by legendary producer Tony Visconti adds immensely to their performances. Although the album is short on true duets, the couple groove beautifully like a contemporary Nancy & Lee on “Words You Used To Say”. Elsewhere, Britta excels on the spacey C&W-style ballad “Wait for Me” and Dean channels a classic Luna sound on “Crystal Blue” (an ode to a dead pet rabbit). Dem’s the highlights, but overall it’s a smoothly satisfying effort.

Buy the album at

  • Dean & Britta | Wait for Me

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