I've thought a lot about which album I was going to choose as the first of this series. It had to be one of my favourite albums ever, an album nobody really knows and in the same time something good, not only good in a sentimental and nostalgic way. Because your favourite albums are always linked to a time in your life and you don't want the memories that the music reminds you of to be more important than the music itself. So, after having considered cool albums that I will definitely write about later on, my mind settled on : 

Ivy
Apartment Life 
/atlantic, reissued by sony; 1997/

ha! you didn't see that coming. 

Ivy is : Adam Schlesinger (from the mighty Fountains of Wayne), Andy Chase and Dominique Durand. I will tell you all the good I think of Adam Schlesinger when I get to review some Fountains of Wayne album. I'll speak about Dominique Durand instead. She's French, people. How glamour is that ? She sings with a cute accent and a soft, delicate voice. 

I consider this as a Summer album mainly because I got it in Summer. But not only. The songs are catchy melodic and luxurious. It's the kind of songs that will make you feel good unless you are really really down. Pop songs have a tendency to become dangerous when you feel really really down. Some are incredibly catchy (try to resist The Best Thing or Get out of the City) and some are as comfortable as silk-lined pillows and as lazy as a light summer breeze. Like Back in our Town, probably one of the sweetest lazy pop songs ever. It features Dominique Durand and James Iha (you can say everything you want, he's got the sweetest voice) singing together on a quiet sea of guitars. by night. But really, really, one can feel the potential misunderstood by two record companies (the album was first published on Atlantic who quickly got rid of it and reissued by Sony, who quickly got rid of the band) by listening to The Best Thing. It's the first song on the album, it explodes in your face whether you like it or not. It's upbeat, cleverly arranged and man, you have to hear the chorus. Why it never got properly released as a single and why Apartment Life never got the success it deserves remains a mystery and a shame. 

Life was cooler and much more simpler in the end of the 20th century. We spent afternoons by swimming pools listening to this album in infinite repeat. It's as lazy as a nap in a hammock with an unfinished novel resting on your face; softer than a morning hug, and as enjoyable as a sunny day lie-in. 

--Barbara H

/sept 1st  2002/