Jon Fredrick has steered Los Angeles art-pop ensemble the Black Watch for two decades and 13 albums, which means Fredrick could probably construct finely riffing pop music in his sleep. Unfortunately, on his latest studio sojourn, Icing the Snow Queen, Fredrick has, doubtlessly unconsciously, crafted material that will leave some listeners somnambulant.

Fredrick’s literary background and pop/rock smarts help start the CD nimbly on the C.S. Lewis-inspired dream-pop title track and “Jenny Holly Wally Martin.” Other songs don’t fair so well. Both mid-tempo “Oh Death, Death, Death” and “Après Lisette” offer unobtrusively atmospheric rock/pop, but like much of the 11 cuts, they don’t carry the proceedings forward to any marked degree.

Grade: C

Icing the Snow Queen is currently available.