Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields fame), who went the Philistines Jr. seventeen better with 2000's 69 Love Songs, also gives his instruments individual attention. On "This Little Ukulele," he needs a mere 79 seconds to capture hearts with just his voice, the tune's titular instrument and a tale of a grand-scale dreamer's struggle to make due with modest means. "Tiny Flying Player Pianos" pairs the keys' tinkling cacophony with the narrator's crippling exhaustion. For all of their melodic charms, most of the songs communicate an equally forlorn message. If Eban & Charley, the film about an intergenerational gay relationship to which Merritt's songs provide the soundtrack, matches the murky mood of the music, it might be challenging and difficult to endure. But if it matches the album's quality, it will also rank among the year's most satisfying viewing experiences.