By Stephanie Breijo
From a band with a fruity name on a quirky label comes equally eccentric music, and The Apples in Stereo’s latest compilation from Yep Roc Records, “Electronic Projects for Musicians,” is a high-energy mix of the balanced neo-psych pop they’ve been making for the last 16 years.
With Beatles-esque orchestration and Lou Reed-like spunk that even Warhol would give the approving eyebrow raise, The Apples deliver a mix of B-Sides that includes everything from their trademark joyous head boppers to a theme song written for funnyman Stephen Colbert—songs that the diehards will love and the casual listener will dance to.
But the remarkable thing about “Electronic Projects” isn’t its definitive nature—the band’s “Fun Trick Noisemaker” or “Her Wallpaper Reverie” are more expressive of their gargantuan body of work and serve as better introductions. It’s the album’s spontaneity which sets it apart.
A single song becomes so eclectic that indie powerpop collides with 60s grunge in the blink of an eye, and because the tracklist pulls from nearly a decade of writing, the mix of tunes is as diverse as it is traditional to thoughtful, audio-textured Apples form.
Album highlights include the danceable “Stephen, Stephen” and whispered, Lennon-like ballad “Hold On to This Day.” And with sunny Beach Boys-influenced lyrics and a chorus that belongs on Weezer’s “Blue Album,” the opening track “Shine in Your Mind” makes for the perfect ’08 summer theme.
Think The Apples might be a little too eclectic for your taste? Well, ye cautious listeners, the “Electronic Projects for Musicians” is streaming for free at www.store.yeproc.com, where you can give it a listen without having to buy a single song.
For a poppier, more accessible Apples album, the ELO-inspired “New Magnetic Wonder” is streaming in all of its electro-pop glory at the band’s official website, www.applesinstereo.com.