1997, Music

Tone Soul Evolution (1997) by The Apples in Stereo

I am not very familiar with Elephant 6 but, to the extent that I am, I am familiar with weird, idiosyncratic indie pop bands, with a big emphasis on the “indie.” I assumed that Apples in Stereo would be along the same lines as the other Elephant 6 bands but, at least based upon this record, they’re very much on the pop side of the indie pop.

For me, this is much closer to power pop like Big Star and the mainstream pop tradition than it is the weirder indie pop being made during the 1990s (or since, really). And that’s a problem for me because I don’t love songs where the hook is the most important thing, above all. If I am going to enjoy pop music, I usually need something weird or arty in it to rope my brain in. And this band (at least on this record) is very, very short of quirk compared to some of its label-mates (or other contemporary bands labeled “indie pop).

And I’ve heard a lot of power pop in my life, whether I wanted to or not, and I find myself listening to this and wonder what these guys are adding. I keep going back to Big Star and thinking, is this really that different? I guess if all you want in your life is some Big Star revival, that’s a good thing. But, I can’t say that’s what I’m looking for.But the songs are all very catchy and everything is well-arranged (lots of instruments and vocal parts coming in and out). It’s hard to be too critical. But it strikes me as a little derivative and it sure ain’t quirky enough.

6/10

All tracks written by Robert Schneider except where noted.

  1. “Seems So” – 3:20
  2. “What’s The #?” – 2:58
  3. “About Your Fame” – 2:16
  4. “Shine A Light” – 3:23
  5. “Silver Chain” (H. Sidney) – 4:01
  6. “Get There Fine” – 3:15
  7. “The Silvery Light Of A Dream” – 2:00
  8. “The Silvery Light Of A Dream (Part II)” – 3:09
  9. “We’ll Come To Be” – 3:29
  10. “Tin Pan Alley” – 2:19
  11. “You Said That Last Night” – 2:33
  12. “Try To Remember” – 3:11
  13. “Find Our Way” – 2:27
  14. “Coda” – 1:13

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