CD New Magnetic Wonder [Digipak] (CD 948115),
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New Magnetic Wonder [Digipak]
The Apples in Stereo
1. Can You Feel It?
3. Mellotron 1
5. Same Old Drag
6. Joanie Don't U Worry
7. Sunndal Song
9. Play Tough
10. Sun Is Out
11. Non-Pythagorean Composition 1
12. Hello Lola
13. 7 Stars
14. Mellotron 2
15. Sunday Sounds
16. Open Eyes
19. Vocoder Ba Ba
21. Beautiful Machine Parts 1-2
22. Beautiful Machine Parts 3-4
23. My Pretend
24. Non-Pythagorean Composition (Locked Groove)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2132
When the Elephant 6 collective first began putting out records in the mid-1990s, teen angst and raw grunge pop dominated the airwaves, making the E6's baroque psychedelia a whimsical reference to a bygone age. Since then, neo-psych has become the chief aesthetic of much of indie culture: from the orchestral ambitions of Sufjan Stevens to the brown acid bombast of Comets on Fire. In this milieu, the Apples in Stereo--perhaps the most definitive E6 band of the collective's heyday--return with a whopper, the epic, 24-track NEW MAGNETIC WONDER, and a lesson for the droners in what a psych revival can be.
Keyboardist Bill Doss, bassist Eric Allen, guitarist John Hill, and new drummer John Dufilho (ex-Deathray Davies) join Apples mastermind Robert Schneider in a blissed-out parade of kaleidoscopic pop with enough headphone candy to satisfy the stoners plus melodies for the soccer moms. NEW MAGNETIC WONDER is full of positive anthems: "Can You Feel It?" kicks off the album like a rush of musical serotonin, while "Energy" reinvigorates lyrical platitudes ("the world is made of energy/and the world is the possibility") with tent-revival enthusiasm. The backwards piano trickery and interlocking riffs of "Same Old Drag" refute the negativity of its title, while "Sun is Out" relocates Guided By Voices' basement on McCartney's "Penny Lane." Learning from other definitive neo-psych moments such as XTC's SKYLARKING and the Stone Roses' debut, NEW MAGNETIC WONDER keeps its hooks in abundance and sounds referential without ever sounding dated. A swirling thrill.
Rolling Stone (p.78) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "NEW MAGNETIC WONDER is full of bright melodies that veer between the Beach Boys and the Kinks..."
Rolling Stone (p.113) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "Hypercatchy songs about encountering the eternal and getting your head together..."
Spin (p.82) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Simple, catchy, unabashedly cheery -- even while exploring a new musical scale..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.76) - "[E]ach of its 24 tracks snaps and crackles with Schneider's sugary, peerless pop." -- Grade: A-
Q (p.116) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]nyone who likes their psychedelia flavoured with a hint of bubblegum and a hunk of Jeff Lynne should head straight for 'Energy''s layered harmonies or the widescreen rumble of 'Beautiful Machine.'"
CMJ (p.42) - "[T]he band's most expansive production yet makes like caramel on the Apples....A strong return."
No Depression (p.113) - "Sweeping melodic hooks cut through densely packed musical arrangements -- Schneider used 96 track of instrumentation on some tunes..."
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