Adam Schlesinger is a man with an ear for pastiche. While he pulls off reasonable facsimiles of 80s power pop like the Cars with his Fountains of Wayne cronies, his Ivy project has always been about taking on sugary synth pop, loungey schmaltz and 60s yé-yé groups (the latter possibly prompted by Gallic frontwoman Dominique Durand) in equal parts. In The Clear is breezy, summery and as sweet as a blue freezie, somewhere between the Pet Shop Boys and Brigitte Bardot. The production is smooth but not too slick, and the arrangements are pleasant. The writing, however, is dreadfully dull. I much prefer Ivy performing other people's material, as they did on 2002's Guestroom covers disc. Zut alors.
Ivy pop at Lee's Palace Sunday (June 12).