A review of this — 6 years ago
New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples In Stereo, a surviving Elephant 6 group, successfully marries sunny 60’s pop melodies in the same vein as The Beatles or The Beach Boys. Jeff Lyne often gets thrown into the mix with backing vocals being run through a vocoder, which is more often than not the entire point of all the less-than-a-minute filler songs that plague the album. Is the point of them to conceptualize the record a little? It’s hard to imagine, as most of the lyrical content on New Magnetic Wonder is no-depth, happy-go-lucky stuff that, as opening track “Can You Feel It?” so successfully puts it: “makes you feel good.” To just complete the picture, many of the driving beats are complemented by metronome-like cowbell a la “Drive My Car” off of Rubber Soul. In some cases, the songs sound like they could be taken almost directly from a Beatles album: “Sun Is Out,” is a mix of the repetitiveness of “Magical Mystery Tour,” with the bass line of “Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da.” And, while the always-perky, feel-good attitude is sometimes a little too annoying to bear at the moment, New Magnetic Wonder generally gets the job done.