David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights Left By Soft

To be perfectly honest, I can't imagine David Kilgour would be particularly happy to see a review of any of his solo work that doesn't mention the Clean. After all, it isn't as if he's able to switch on and off the so-called "Dunedin sound" he spent so many years defining, and his sixth solo album, Left By Soft, is full of brilliant examples of it. It's very much a record of two halves; it starts off at a relatively furious pace, with lots of fuzzy guitars, before settling down into a string of quieter songs. But it isn't until the second half that he brings out the jangly, chiming guitars he's become synonymous with and that's when it begins to happen, especially on "Diamond Mine" and "Could Be On My Way." Yes, it does sound a lot like the Clean, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. This is pop music that sparkles and soars. (Merge)