Stephin Merritt returns after four years with Distortion, yet another "concept" album. Funny that it seems more of a return to the early days of The Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees... and that's a good thing. I was one of the few that thought his 1999 breakthrough, 69 Love Songs, was completely overwrought and would have worked better as 34.5 love songs, but alas, the "concept" was born.
Distortion works well with shared vocals by Merritt and Shirley Simms. It gets the songwriting balance right between sincerity and comedy. Highlights include: California Girls, Too Drunk to Dream, The Nun's Litany, and Drive On, Driver, which you'll find below.
Drive On, Driver