Apples in Stereo

01/31/2007 12:00 AM |

Apples in Stereo frontman Robert Schneider’s most notable achievement until now was producing perhaps the crowning achievement of all of 90s indie rock, Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. He’s an adept engineer, fanatical about the sounds of instruments, and he’s of the mind that pop music can be as musically complex and technical as the most lauded classical music, a stance he takes proudly on New Magnetic Wonder, the first Apples in Stereo record in five years, and in Schneider’s mind, the band’s masterpiece. Each song boasts a maddening amount of layers; the harmonies are well-conceived, and the orchestration is elaborate and interesting. It’s strange, though: you’ve got this record that was so intensely labored over for an entire year, reportedly fucking with Schneider’s head pretty severely, yet to us, it still just sounds like a very good 60’s-inspired pop record. Then again, freaking out over details so minute no regular person would notice them is probably a sign of true genius. I mean, have you heard SMiLE?