THE CLEAN: Mister Pop
By Amanda Mills
The story of The Clean has been long, with classic indie-pop singles scattered throughout like chapter points, and various side projects (solo careers and off-shoot bands) creating pauses, but never full stops. ‘Mister Pop’ is the latest headline in the tale, the first studio album from the far-flung trio (Robert Scott and David Kilgour reside in Dunedin, Hamish Kilgour in New York) since 2001’s ‘Getaway’. The album is awash in soothing harmonies, ’60s-inspired melodies and faintly sinister instrumentals, while permeated with scorching guitars, a hint of electronica and… violas. There is the odd harder moment – Tensile’s propelling rhythm, vocodered vocals and almost psychedelic keyboard line provide a shadow against the sunnier pop. The songs range from dreamy (Are you Really on Drugs) to anthemic folk (the jangly In the Dreamlife You Need a Rubber Soul), and these are interspersed with three radically different instrumentals – the sci-fi Loog, the Eastern-influenced Moon-Jumper, and the lounge-ish Simple Fix. ‘Mister Pop’ is an welcoming and engaging album that old and new fans alike should warm to.