The Clean Mister Pop

The Clean Mister Pop
When Merge Records released the Anthology compilation back in 2003, it looked like it was a perfect way for the Clean to call it a day. But six years later, the legendary New Zealand band are back with a brand new album that picks up right where they left off. Mister Pop sounds like the kind of record everybody expected them to make, assuming there weren't any drastic changes in the past eight years. And there weren't. That means lots of the jangle-y guitars that typified the music that Flying Nun were bringing to the world and plenty of organ-driven songs that mirror their later, more drone-based material, finding some middle ground between Young Marble Giants and Stereolab. That mix of two different types of songs makes Mister Pop sound an awful lot like a Yo La Tengo album (especially on the likes of "Tensile"), if Hoboken was somehow transplanted into the Southern hemisphere, where the pace of life is just a little slower. But, ultimately, it sounds like the Clean, and that isn't a bad thing because that translates into one of the best albums of the year. (Merge)