The Clean: Mister Pop (Merge) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, November 29th, 2020  

The Clean

Mister Pop


Sep 14, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The Clean is a band whose members have no sense of time. It can take them years, and sometimes even the better part of a decade, to release a new album—their first full-length didn't arrive until 1990, a full 12 years after forming in New Zealand—and their records pay little credence to the era that spawned them. Their organ-laced, ramshackle early pop singles were like little else from the punk period, and their latest, Mister Pop, is similarly divorced from modern indie-rock, suggesting an alternate reality where The Feelies and Galaxie 500 never broke up. 

Like most Clean records, Mister Pop is brisk and pleasant, and its highlights, like the starry-eyed guitar-pop of its lead single "In The Dreamlife You Need a Rubber Soul," rank among the group's best. But while there's something comforting about the way this cult college-rock band never seems to age, it's frustrating that a group that releases so little can repeat itself so much. Mister Pop, then, is for Clean diehards only. Anybody who owns the band's essential two-disc Anthology won't hear any new tricks here. (

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