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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Ivy
In the Clear
Nettwerk

Rating: 6/10 ?


September 6, 2005
In what is quite possibly my favorite Liz Phair song, "Stratford-On-Guy", she sings, "It took an hour/maybe a day/and once I really listened the noise/just went away." Ivy's In the Clear captures many of the same feelings: while not so much nihilistic as it is nebulous and light, it travels the same detached airspace as Phair, but without any of the turbulence.

While nice enough, it is a passable, ultimately discountable affair made of cotton, gauze and other piffle. While it does sound fittingly jet-setting (especially due to the band's international roots), it also instills the restless boredom of long flights. One gets the feeling there's nothing to do but look out the window - and while the stars in the night sky are at once inspiring, staring for an excess of hours with nothing to contemplate (and somewhere more interesting to go) can make any traveler antsy.

Tedium aside, In the Clear is a fine album, in keeping with Ivy's adorable catalog, but lacks spark. Their covers EP, Guestroom, is far more essential listening, as there are very few invigorating pop songs here. Everything goes smoothly on In the Clear, with no real highs or lows, so to speak, and as such it unrolls without much fanfare or energy. Even the pluckiest pop songs provided - "Corners of Your Mind", "Tess Don't Tell" and "Thinking About You" - fail to match their earlier, more spirited offerings like "The Best Thing" or "This is the Day".

In the Clear feels less evocative, as well, as tracks like "I've Got You Memorized" and the awkwardly ironic "Keep Moving" have elements of Blondie-style disco that could be drenched in intrigue but fail to register inertia. While the trip only takes a mere 38 minutes, it feels a lot longer because you're sitting still. And, while the voyage is entirely pleasant, the flight is certainly not the destination.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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