It defies all logical explanation, but the Apples in Stereo actually seems to be becoming happier and more accessible with age. In the early '90s, the group was just another bunch of psychedelic goofballs in Athens, Georgia's Elephant Six collective. Today, the band is the starchild of Elijah Wood's Simian Records label. In between, the Apples' long career arc has bent evermore toward the sunny and saccharine, as though no amount of Mellotrons or vocoder effects could ever slake their fascination with magical mystery tourism. In 2007, the band released New Magnetic Wonder, a late-career manifesto on the limitless possibilities of power pop that seemed to cement lead songwriter Robert Schneider's position as one of the heavyweights of the genre. However, 2010's Travellers in Space and Time, an album full of teddy-bear disco beats and cartoony pastiche of spaced-out weirdness, comes as proof positive that you can have too much of a good thing. At least fans heading out to the Billiken Club this Tuesday can take comfort knowing that the Apples in Stereo has a rich and plentiful back catalog.
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