A Girl Called Eddy

Erin Moran, a Jersey girl who calls herself Eddy, writes the kind of songs steeped in a melancholia so deep they suggest dark clouds perpetually circling overhead. Drawing on personal experience, the pretensions of producer Richard Hawley, and myriad inspirations (Scott Walker and the Carpenters, as well as more recent songwriters such as Beth Orton and Aimee Mann), Erin/Eddy crafts lush, languid soundscapes braced by heartbreak and despair.

Indeed, this Girl's message seems to be that romance is usually futile, with disappointment a predictable result. If forlorn song titles such as "Tears All Over Town," "Girls Can Really Tear You Up Inside," and "The Long Goodbye" don't have you reaching for a hanky, lyrics such as "It all ends in tears/Remember when we were happy," and "Once there was spring inside his eyes/Now there's only autumn winds and sad grey skies" (from the whispered "People Used to Dream About the Future" and the so-sad "Heartache," respectively) may inspire a sudden craving for Zoloft. Laid-back to the point of lethargy, only "The Long Goodbye" manages any muscle. That said, Eddy's downcast demeanor reflects the album's loungelike ambiance, and retro ambitions that go as far as reproducing what looks like a well-worn record cover.

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Lee Zimmerman