Somehow you get the feeling that Ivy will never be 'big in the clubs'....

Somehow you get the feeling that Ivy will never be ‘big in the clubs’. Suited more to trendy lifts, the New York-based three-piece are the suave, slightly hollow, but very pretty side of sugary pop that is easy on the ears but pointless in all other ways.

This is partly due to the icily immaculate voice of French singer Dominique Durand. Perfect throughout, it’s so measured that any incidental feeling is chopped neatly into bite-sized chunks for us to digest at leisure. The sterile precision of it all is part Laetitia Stereolab, part Suzanne Vega, but far cheerier than either of them.

This is because ‘Apartment Life’ is an album by numbers. It has brass sections, a token celebrity in Smashing PumpkinsJames Iha, the odd glaring summer hit (‘I Get The Message’) and, er, Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne in the band. Its crowning glory, though, is the alarmingly poppy single ‘This Is The Day’, better known for its part in [I]There’s Something About Mary[/I].

All you could ever need from a somewhat functional, entirely pleasant pop band when you’re stuck in a lift, in other words.