Glaswegian indie-outfit Camera Obscura is the official ambassador of twee, crafting reverb-soaked, string-adorned, ’60s-tastic pop under the watch of hopeless romantic (and brooch enthusiast) Traceyanne Campbell. My Maudlin Career is the band’s least tentative release to date, radiating a swagger that shoves terminally catchy tunes such as “French Navy” and “Swans” from the gymnasium wall to the dance floor. But Maudlin’s heart comes from the slow jams, with the sweetly aching “James” setting the mood for the album’s highlight — the gorgeous, Spector-esque “Careless Love.” Even on the girl-group homage “The Sweetest Thing,” Campbell tends toward melancholy, cooing, “You challenged me to write a love song / Here it is, I think I got it wrong.” Actually, she got it right: Campbell may be stuck in a twee time warp, but she knows that as sweet as relationships can be, there’s usually a bitter end lurking around the corner.
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