Stephin Merritt has quite openly admitted that his newest offering is an homage to the Jesus and Mary Chain, and indeed this does sound a hell of a lot like Psychocandy. The strings and pianos are still there, but buried under a bed of reverb-drenched distortion and shrieking feedback.
Considering how unique and iconic an album Psychocandy was, borrowing so heavily from it could have ended up going very badly. But somehow it works quite well with his songwriting. While the Jesus and Mary Chain might have been limited by their musical ability and knowledge, Merritt and company understand the pop principles they’re working with.