In the Clear

In the Clear

4.5 2
by Ivy
     
 

New York City trio Ivy make what you could call café music -- breezy pop that is as perfect with a double espresso and a copy of Le Journal as it is with a chunk of biscotti. While there is no shortage of aural wallpaper for coffee shops these days, Ivy's albums offer the kind that makes you actually go up and ask the clerk who's playing. Though notSee more details below

Overview

New York City trio Ivy make what you could call café music -- breezy pop that is as perfect with a double espresso and a copy of Le Journal as it is with a chunk of biscotti. While there is no shortage of aural wallpaper for coffee shops these days, Ivy's albums offer the kind that makes you actually go up and ask the clerk who's playing. Though not significantly different than their previous work, In the Clear is a refinement of the band's trademark sound: jazzy chord progressions, augmented with sparkling arrangements, subtle electronics, and the alluring, breathy vocals of singer Dominique Durand. It is, however, a vast improvement over 2001's Long Distance, which found the band somewhat listless and mired in synthesizers. Teenagers in the '80s, Ivy use alternative icons of that decade (New Order, Aztec Camera, Cocteau Twins) as touchstones to create a distinct sound of their own, much in the same way Luna borrow from the Velvet Underground. In the Clear is brimming with memorable songs: the dreamy opener "Nothing But Sky"; the upbeat, jangly "Corners of Your Mind" and "Thinking About You"; and the keyboard-driven "Keep Moving," which seems destined to be used in a montage sequence in some upcoming romantic comedy. It's an album that goes down easy but stays with you. Making music sound this effortless is no easy task, though you'd be forgiven for not noticing as you finish your latte.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - MacKenzie Wilson
Ivy follow up 2001's Long Distance with their sophisticated fourth album, In the Clear. The ten-song set shines with smooth synth beats, breezy acoustic guitars, and elegant string arrangements. It's refined and focused, but also sexy and intimate. The band's airy softness turns dark, and it's an inviting listen. Dominique Durand's honeyed, warm vocals are as seductive as ever, especially on skin-tight tracks such as "Four in the Morning" and "Keep Moving." "Tess Don't Tell" is classic Ivy. Andy Chase's post-punk-influenced background fits Adam Schlesinger's pop roots so nicely on this track, and it's playful in mood without going overboard. Ivy didn't overdo things in the studio. It's an album that breathes easy while also one that struts in slow motion. The dreamy, piano-laden opener, "Nothing But the Sky," is testament to that. Slow-building pastel-colored melodies mixed between cool, chilled rock moments capture the essence of In the Clear. It's most definitely an impressive culmination of Ivy's career to date.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/01/2005
Label:
Nettwerk Records
UPC:
0067003039826
catalogNumber:
30398
Rank:
84353

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ivy   Primary Artist
James Iha   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Scott McCloud   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Steve Osborne   Guitar,Keyboards,Guest Appearance
Adam Schlesinger   Group Member
Dominique Durand   Group Member
Zé Luis   Strings,Conductor,Guest Appearance
Andy Chase   Group Member
Jody Porter   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Jeremy Adelman   Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Mel Davis   Violin,Guest Appearance
Laura Usiskin   Cello,Guest Appearance
Emily Yaffe   Viola,Guest Appearance
Sarah Kishinevsky   Violin,Guest Appearance
Laura Usiskin   Cello
Emily Yaffe   Viola

Technical Credits

Ivy   Composer
Steve Osborne   Producer,Audio Production
Adam Schlesinger   Producer
Frank Olinsky   Art Direction
Zé Luis   String Arrangements
Andy Chase   Producer
Geoff Sanoff   Engineer
Rudyard Lee Cullers   Engineer
Sheila Scott   Management

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