Ivy, In the Clear

Upon first listen, Ivy's fifth record sounds like pop group St. Etienne, but unlike their British counterpart, this New York trio knows how to turn up the guitars once in a while. Since their 1995 indie rock debut Realistic, Ivy has developed in leaps and bounds — especially vocalist Dominique Durand whose Parisian accent is not as thick (the band is rounded out by Andy Chase and Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne). In the Clear opens with "Nothing But The Sky," which gradually builds on layered keyboards and driving bass, as the raw guitars fade in for flight. From here on In the Clear has a sense of continuity, but Ivy still manage to throw in 70's disco influences ("Keep Moving"), trippy atmospherics ("Feel So Free"), and luminous guitar work ("Tess Don't Tell"). Catchy and enjoyable while being very low key; In the Clear is candy pop that will make old and new fans drool for more. (Nettwerk)

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