Apples In Stereo New Magnetic Wonder

The Apples In Stereo have been purveyors of charmingly lo-fi power pop since the early ’90s. While their latest is drenched in the upbeat melodies and endearing vocals that we’ve come to expect from the former Elephant 6-ers, it also lacks sincerity. The songwriting shines, albeit with a soulless, plastic sheen. New Magnetic Wonder thoroughly comes across as the band’s attempt to break free of their college radio darling status and really make a go of things in the biz. With few exceptions (the shimmering "Sunndal Song,” the wonderfully weird "Pre-Crimson”), it is a cry for mainstream attention. And it will likely succeed to that end. "Can You Feel It?” could end up on a teen movie soundtrack and do for the Apples what "Why Can’t I?” did for Liz Phair. It’s a high-gloss hit-in-waiting that lacks for nothing except genuine heart. But after close to 15 years of turning out immaculate (if somewhat inaccessible) gems, who can begrudge the Apples for wanting their piece of the pie? (Simian)