March 31, 2005

Test Spin: Ivy

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Ivy’s latest album In the Clear is frustratingly difficult to categorize — is it pop, indie, or trip-hop? The album seems to be all of these and yet none of them. One thing is certain though — In the Clear, similar to Ivy in general, is like that cool looking kid who deep down is simply a nerd. Ivy is unabashed frivolous pop fluff at heart, but they just come off as so fucking cool. First and foremost, their singer is French. Even putting aside the rest of their superficially hip attributes, Dominique Durand’s vocals sensuel are enough to deceive the listener into believing that Ivy’s songs are expressing much more than they really are.

The same pattern repeats itself on basically every track of In the Clear: the unemotional, straightforward melody devoid of any sort of ebb or flow becomes frustrating and monotonous, but is partially saved by Ivy’s inspired, meticulous electronic backgrounds. It’s a shame to see such imaginative production wasted on what at its very core is a French Michelle Branch sound.

Archived article by Jared Wolfe
Sun Staff Writer