Filed under: Issue 22, Issue 22 Reviews | Tags: auto-tune, electric light orchestra, Elephant 6, elo, Neutral Milk Hotel, of Montreal, robert schneider, The Apples in Stereo, The Beach Boys, the music tapes, travellers in space and time
Part of our Issue 22 coverage!
WE GIVE IT: 13/20 Watts
PREVIEW: CLICK here to visit The Apples in Stereo’s website
I have a lot of love for the Elephant 6 Collective: The Music Tapes, Of Montreal and of course, who could forget Neutral Milk Hotel? But for some reason, I’ve totally ignored The Apples in Stereo up until very recently. They definitely have that same sort of retro-pop worship going for them as much as their more eccentric counterparts, but they take it in a different direction, worshipping the prog-rock goodness of bands like Electric Light Orchestra over the sun-pop of The Beach Boys. Such is the case with their new album: Travellers in Space and Time.
The album’s good. It synthesizes ’70s pop, prog, and a few slices of experimental tendencies to create a hook-heavy piece of work, although it also suffers from overindulgence at times. Songs like “It’s All Right” hit the sweet spot of golden-era a.m. radio, but others, like “Hey Elevator,” sound overly forced, and often more vocodered than necessary. Yes, vocoder. The Apples in Stereo love that old-school synth novelty that totally trumps Auto-Tune in terms of overt cheesiness and gimmickry.
The strangest part is that tt usually works. For all the schlocky moves, the songs are precise and densely composed, never mind how dang catchy they are. Lead singer Robert Schneider has been doing things his way for over 10 years with The Apples in Stereo, and he shows why the band has the staying power they have with this album. It might not be the most memorable, but it’s certainly worth a few spins, either on your iPod or on the dance floor.
BY Dan Creahan