Apartment Life (Atlantic)
by Jamie Kiffel
I believe that this falls into the category of Bank Piano. That is the tinkling, almost recognizable music that is passionlessly executed by either a real person or, for novelty’s sake, by a player piano plunking stolidly from its corner of the bank while you are waiting to deposit your penny rolls. Ivy is by no means offensive. In fact, it tempted me to adjust my eardrums several times to determine if the songs were fading out in the middle or if they really were still plodding onward on their long, thin chain of weak dynamic links.
Singer Dominique Durand does add some interest to the disc with her British-trained Frenglish, as when she sings, “Eet ees a queek ahnd painless death.” Her vocals are so sweet and powdery, I half-expect them to blow away in a sudden, wild gust of guitars and drums, revealing a burbling, slobbering monster lurking beneath. Unfortunately, this never happens, and the disc repeats lyrics and melodies like overchewed gum, too rubbery to stick to anything but keeping its shape by stretching toward high notes it just can’t quite reach anymore. The guitars might as well be a Mellotron. I recommend skipping this CD and spending more time at the bank.