David Kilgour
Frozen Orange Merge http://www.tinymixtapes.comsites/default/files/arton5151_0.jpg

[Merge; 2004]

Rating: 3/5 3 / 5 (0)

Styles: indie rock
Others: David Kilgour, if you don't recognize the name, is a member of the seminal New Zealand band The Clean, the scrappy bunch who formed in the late '70s and sporadically released albums all the way up t


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David Kilgour, if you don't recognize the name, is a member of the seminal New Zealand band The Clean, the scrappy bunch who formed in the late '70s and sporadically released albums all the way up to 2001's Getaway, released, like Kilgour's own recent albums, here in the U.S. on Merge. Thus yesterday's indie heroes (The Clean get props for inspiring Yo La Tengo, Superchunk, Pavement, and countless others) are given their dues today. Frozen Orange, Kilgour's latest solo offering, is less noise and more summer, however, forgoing quick n' done Stiff Little Fingers-type numbers for likable, mid-tempo rock. Kilgour's guitar work on the album is admirable, as he shows an ear for tuneful arrangement, layering guitars tastefully and mixing his own faintly accented singing in unobtrusively.

But of course, pleasantness isn't always enough. While I am not one to fault Kilgour for slowing things down a little, an impatient listener might argue that Frozen Orange shows Kilgour's age in the same ways Yo La Tengo's Summer Sun belied theirs. More M. Ward than Superchunk, Kilgour's record requires several listens to soak in -- indeed, I had to spin the album several times before I could figure out my own feelings on it. Fortunately, this is a rewarding disc -- not in the same way a Black Dice record might be (once you've figured it out), but songs like "Rocket" and "Blue Sky" pull you over to Kilgour's side. Frozen Orange is refreshing in a way that befits its title; it's a record that gently rocks without self-absorption so common among contemporary singer-songwriters. If Kilgour knows how to manipulate the kids browsing Merge's website, it's a credit to him and his craft that his record belies such clear integrity.

1. The Waltz
2. Living in Space
3. Gold in Sound
4. Frozen Orange
5. Rocket
6. Dogs Barking
7. G Major 7
8. Blue Sky
9. A Head Full of Rolling Stones
10. Everybody's on a Ride
11. Rolling