2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rockin at the rock'n'roll show,
This review is from: Electronic Projects For Musicians (Audio CD)
It's been more than a decade since the Apples in Stereo produced the spotty-yet-enjoyable "Science Faire," so it's about time they produced another collection of B-sides and rarities.
And while these songs -- mostly bonus tracks from past releases -- aren't quite the Apples at their best, "Electronic Project For Musicians" is still plenty of fun, and shows how the band has grown since their last B-sides/rarities collections. Lots of loopy, colourful little pop tunes with a certain retro sixties pop flavour.
It kicks off with the rapid guitar of "Shine (In Your Mind)," a sunny little pop tune with equally upbeat lyrics ("Here I come/a marigold/for you to hold!"), and oozing with the Beach Boys vibe. They don't get any darker with "Thank You Very Much," a lazy summery little ballad riddled with piano, acoustic guitar and Japanese phrases. Not terribly complex, but nice.
Then they venture into grittier turf: the rough-edged riffs and bouncy melody of "Onto Something," an angular little pop tune with a ringing guitar, a drawling rocker shimmering with organ, and a wide-eyed little acoustic ballad that reflects on how "this moment's so sweet/I will live until my life's complete/the world may be a range/I won't forget this day... I can't believe you're moving... today."
But they haven't abandoned the psychpop -- sunny little oasis songs, rippling little blobs of ringing cycling synth, distorted powerpop, and the dreamlike violin-led psychedelica of "Dreams." And they really bust out the childlike fun with the delightful "Stephen Stephen," and the gloriously effervescent "The Apples Theme Song" ("We are the Apples in Stereo/you hear our records on the radio/we are the Apples in Stereo/you hear us rockin' at the rock'n'roll show...")
For the record, these songs are from a variety of albums and sources -- you've got a bunch from bonus tracks and discs, singles, compilations, split EPs, the Colbert Report, and one that was even the theme song intro to their website. So don't expect to find any kind of flow or cohesion here -- it's a patchwork of enjoyable little pop songs, and no more.
But don't worry. While a few are rough around the edges, all these songs are peppy and bright -- every song is graced with either gentle acoustic guitar or energetic cycles of grimy-edged guitar'n'bass. Around those core melodies, the Apples inject some gentle piano and the occasional string section, and a wobbling layer of synth that distorts and envelopes the songs in a colourful shell.
Robert Schneider's boyish voice adds to the fun, bouncing through the sometimes absurd lyrics with upbeat abandon ("I like the hair that grows out of your head/if you dye it red, it's okay"). A few are too simplistic ("Domo arigato baby/thank you, thanks for listening to me"), but most of the others don't have that problem, especially the wistful one ("And some of us will go on/and some will leave before our glow is gone/some people will pine/for the people they have left behind...").
"Electronic Projects for Musicians" shows how far the Apples in Stereo have come since their last collection of B-sides and rarities. Fragmented, but sunny and fun.