Apples in Stereo – Her Wallpaper Reverie

Apples in Stereo
Her Wallpaper Reverie

On the eve of Apples in Stereo’s upcoming release, I thought I would take a step back and review one of their recent efforts, Her Wallpaper Reverie.Critics have had a good relationship with the E6 label, and their fans are a dedicated group of Beatles / Beach Boy neophytes who long for a return to the day when melody and music mattered. It didn’t have to rage like a bull (ie. Korn, Limp Biz…and the other million bands of this ilk) or whistle like sweet little bird (ie Britneay Spears, etc.). The music of the Beatles and the Beach Boys was well-constructed and had that unmatchable and real connection with experimentation and “borrowed originality” – the sound was original but wholly derivative of something before it. The music could be both tough and sweet, yet remain spontaneous and and unprogrammed. Now, none of us that desire this sound to return can expect any of the E6 bands to fully bring that pulse back…But we cross our fingers and hope everytime we put on a new album that it is something special.
With that said, we move to “Wallpaper” with some mild expectations. Sadly, A in S do not deliver much here. We are taken for a loopy ride that lists 15 songs, but only sports seven “real” ones, of which, only two or three are worth listening to. Crammed inbetween the “real songs” are 8 polluted, space-taking, blabbering and pointless piano-noise plunkers that sound like anything a 7 year old could concoct with a casio keyboard and a 4-track (if this 7 year old could figure out how to hit “record”).
The “real songs” go like this:
The Shiney Sea: A dreamy, swirling song worth listening to.
Strawberry Fire: An obvious, in every way, hark back to “Strawberry Fields” and anything off “Rubber Soul” or the “Magical Mystery Tour,” which is a good thing for the most part.
Ruby: A giddy rock and roll, rolly-poly pop, knick-knack waste of space.
Questions and Answers: Mediocre…That’s all.
Y2K: A Song about people who believe what they see on TV. Just above mediocre.
Benefits of Lying: A decent one. Gushy super-pop. Songs like this almost make Olivia Tremor Control and Apples indistinguishable.
Ruby Tell me: a very short, breathy, soft song with a big keyboard.
I am only hoping that the next Apples effort strives for a little more music and melody, and less random tinkering with childrens toy-pianos.
I could go on here and rip up this album and ask myself and everyone who bought it why we didn’t just wait for the good ones to be played on your local alternative college station so we could tape it and pretend that the rest of it never existed–but I won’t.
I wouldn’t recommend this album to anyone but the most die-hard E6 purist who is intent on getting every release ever put out by Apples, OTC and the like. The rest of us will cross our fingers and hope again that the next release is much more special than this one–god knows, they do have the talent…