Ivy follow up 2001's Long Distance with their sophisticated fourth album, In the Clear. The ten-song set shines with smooth synth beats, breezy acoustic guitars, and elegant string arrangements. It's refined and focused, but also sexy and intimate. The band's airy softness turns dark, and it's an inviting listen. Dominique Durand's honeyed, warm vocals are as seductive as ever, especially on skin-tight tracks such as "Four in the Morning" and "Keep Moving." "Tess Don't Tell" is classic Ivy. Andy Chase's post-punk-influenced background fits Adam Schlesinger's pop roots so nicely on this track, and it's playful in mood without going overboard. Ivy didn't overdo things in the studio. It's an album that breathes easy while also one that struts in slow motion. The dreamy, piano-laden opener, "Nothing But the Sky," is testament to that. Slow-building pastel-colored melodies mixed between cool, chilled rock moments capture the essence of In the Clear. It's most definitely an impressive culmination of Ivy's career to date.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson