With his second studio project as The 6ths, Stephin Merritt has gathered another all-star stack of artists to voice his creations. Momus, Bob Mould, Sarah Cracknell, Miho Hatori, Odetta, Gary Numan and Melanie all contribute to "Hyacinths and Thistles'" characteristic witty-sad-pretty symphonies. Each distinctive voice fits within a distinctive soundscape.
On "Hyacinths," metallic hunt-and-peck keyboarding and rusty guitar strums are made graceful with sweeping string work and unassuming word breathing. The little hairs on the back of your neck will dance and jump with joy. Miho Hatori hums and stumbles over the angelic "Lindy-Lou." Bob Mould puts on a designer suit and roasts chestnuts in "He Didn't."
Merritt's work is a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated multimedia world. Add another masterpiece to his collection.