Apples in Stereo "New Magnetic Wonder"


After a five-year absence, Apples in Stereo have returned with a big comeback album. Robert Schneider’s songs have always been influenced by the pop aesthetic of The Beach Boys and ELO. Tthis DIY approach to those sounds are what made the Elephant Six so much fun to listen to. New Magnetic Wonder offers the listener a catchy, bouncy pop sound with all the modern electronica influences and techniques. The album starts out with the defiant “Can you Feel it?” a really nice guitar driven number, that then leads into “Skyway” another Apples’ classic. The Rundgren-styled keyboard-based pop of “Same Old Drag,” has a fantastic groove and ends much too soon. There is a bit too much vocoder and experimental tracks here that throws off the albums pacing. In fact I noticed alot of songs almost seem cut off. When we get to “Mellotron 2” the tone of the album begins to change. “Sunndal Song” and “Sunday Sounds” both sung by drummer Hilarie Sidney are also highlights that would be very comfortable on an Ivy album. It is unfortunate I hear she is no longer part of the band at this time. By the time we get to “Beautiful Machine Parts 3-4” the album resembles some emo-core band, like Taking back Sunday. Overall, The Apples in Stereo have always been one of the most talented bands in indie power pop. Here the tradition continues. Rather than post tracks, I posted the video “Energy” below. You can get this album at emusic and you have no excuses.

“Energy”

Want to see another Apples in Stereo video? Listen to “Same Old Drag”

The Jennifers "Colors from the Future"


The Jennifiers come to you with quite a pedigree. Master guitar-pop producer, Dave Nachodsk has worked with Squeeze, Greenberry Woods, Myracle Brah, Splitsville and Starbelly, releases this Baltimore band’s first full lengther in several years. Sounding like a good indie mix of Guided By Voices guitar pop meets They Might Be Giants quirkiness, I found alot here I like. “Mrs. Gray” is an awesome uptempo rocker similar to the Feelies and Velvet Crush. Following this is a satisfiying opus “Landslide” — over four minutes of hummable magic. Some of the songs have a nice 80’s style of guitar rhythm, like “Starfleet Academy” and “Lazy Stalker.” On some songs the vocals get drowned out, but most of the CD does a great job, like a cover of The Soft Boys “Queen of Eyes.” The song “Lion in Winter” runs all over the place and turns into a pyschedelic jam at one point – didn’t Sloan do things like this near the end of an album? You can visit the Jennifers at their website to hear some tracks. You can get this album at notlame.com or cdbaby it is most definitely worth picking up!

Naomi Star "Sunshine Girl"


The Naomi Star came out with this gem several months ago. It’s got all the classic power pop stylings. Lots of Badfinger influenced greatness here. Every song here is really good. The title song is a bouncy rock gem similar to early Posies. “Just Let Go” is a Beatle-type ballad that has an awesome musical bridge and heavenly “oohs” that deserves much repeats in your ipod. Speaking of Beatles, the Naomi Star do a great job on a cover of “Paperback Writer” as well. “Englighten” channels some classic Pete Ham — you almost expect this song to be a bonus track on Badfinger’s Straight Up. This is a great classic-styled power pop album, that will be appreciated by everyone who reads this blog regularly. “Find my way Home” starts to head into Bread territory and by the end of the CD, it runs out of energy a little, but overall it is a minor flaw. You can get this album at notlame.com, cdbaby or itunes

Powerpopaholic CD Sale! One Day Only!

On Sunday, February 11, 2007 – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Record Collectors Anonymous is having a winter show at
Hofstra University in the Student Center, Hempstead, NY

I will be selling a huge portion of my power pop collection – over 600+ CD’s, Cassettes, plus a few dozen movies on DVD and VHS. My house is running out of room, storing this massive CD collection, so it’s time to clean house! Lots of rare, hard-to-find, and out of print CDs will be up for quick sale. I hope to see plenty of my fellow powerpopaholics while I’m there.

Look here for directions and details.

Field Music "Tones of Town"


Field Music had a really good, if quirky album last year the self-titled “Field Muisc” was a nice clean indie pop album that came from the old Apples in Stereo mold. With this new album “Tones on Town” — the group’s quality music improves vastly. Listen to the amazing song cycle in “A Gap has appeared” and then the follow-up “Closer At Hand,” that begins with a gorgeous chorus and then runs a killer hook right away. With their clever vocal harmonies and angular riffs, and sounding similar to The Beatles, “English Settlement-era” XTC, and Harry Nilsson, this is what great modern power pop is all about. A great complex album with witty lyrics and baroque beauty. “A House is not a Home” is another catchy alt-pop slice of heaven. Sometimes I run out of adjectives for an album – other than the cliche: “All killer, no filler.” Get it now at emusic.

Here is the video for “A House is Not A Home”