Mojo (UK)

Dent May

Across The Multiverse CARPARK. CD/DL/LP

- Glyn Brown

Fourth album hones that deceptivel­y simple charm. Eccentric Mississipp­i boy Dent May said he’d never move to LA. A self-described “hotel bar lounge singer”, he was doing fine, turning out a string of upbeat synth-pop albums with a sorrowing heart at their core. Then, of course, he moved to LA – and unleashed a rush of creativity. Compared to Brian Wilson for his clean, heavenly harmonies, May’s lyrics have been criticised as saccharine and lacking plot. This misses the point; there’s a Stephin Merritt touch to these tender, literate words, a defiant insoucianc­e in the face of adversity. Hello Cruel World accentuate­s the positive with a 10cc riot of synth, boisterous piano and May’s falsetto, breaking with emotion. 90210 is vintage lounge, swoony and kitsch; and Face Down In The Gutter Of Your Love is peerless, cruising a sunny freeway of exquisite pain. May can be schmaltzy, yes; but also needle-sharp.

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