Long Distance

Those desiring the lush soundscapes, beat-smart rhythms, graceful melodies, melancholy interludes, and seductive vocals—of the kind embraced by such acts as Komeda, Swing Out Sister, and St.

Those desiring the lush soundscapes, beat-smart rhythms, graceful melodies, melancholy interludes, and seductive vocals—of the kind embraced by such acts as Komeda, Swing Out Sister, and St. Etienne—should look no further than Ivy's third album. After two acclaimed albums (1995's Realistic and '97's Apartment Life) and in the wake of unplanned label dramas, Ivy delivers its most cohesive, decidedly pop collection to date. Closer to Apartment Life than Realistic, Long Distance finds the trio—Parisian-born singer Dominique Durand and multi-instrumentalists Andy Chase and Adam Schlesinger—eschewing its early guitar leanings for a more rhythmic palette. That said, such effervescent tracks as "Lucy Doesn't Love You" and "Blame It on Yourself" effortlessly manage to merge guitar-pop sensibilities with contemporary dancefloor rhythms. On the breezy "Let's Stay Inside," Ivy appears ready to take a stroll along the beaches of Ipanema or Copacabana in Rio de Janiero. As a bonus track, the band tackles the Blow Monkeys' mid-'80s pop hit, "Digging Your Scene," to dizzying effect.—MP