The Apples in Stereo: Travellers in Space and Time

RIYL: ELO, The Beatles, Cliff Richard

If the early returns are any indication, 2010 is the year that musicians realized that it was all right to admit that they like ELO. The power pop circuit has been cribbing from Jeff Lynne for years, of course, but they have about 600 records sold to show for it. Perhaps that’s why bands like the Apples in Stereo and the Silver Seas (wait until you hear their song “What’s the Drawback”) waited until they developed a devoted fan base before dropping the news on their fans that yes, they like ELO, too. For a band that was so successful, the ELO name carries a curious amount of baggage.


Don’t be surprised if Travellers in Space and Time, the new album by the Apples in Stereo, changes that stigma some. This is not the first time the Apples have dabbled in Lynneisms, but Travellers ups the ante by exploring different aspects of the ELO sound. “Hey Elevator” is this album’s “Sweet Talkin’ Woman,” while “Dignified Dignitary” is a clear descendant of both “Do Ya” and the band’s own song “Go.” “Wings Away” is the album’s big Beatles moment, with one of those instantly recognizable ascending progressions in the chorus. The album does explore other catalogs besides ELO’s, though, as “Next Year at About the Same Time” sounds like Squeeze covering David Bowie’s “Blue Jean.”

At 16 tracks, the album does feel a tad long, even with two of those tracks being interludes. Still, it’s nice to see a band tackle the whole in-crowd notion of indie pop and declare the party open to anyone and everyone interested in attending. Get your Vocoder on. (Yep Roc 2010)

Apples in Stereo MySpace page
Click to buy Travelers in Space and Time from Amazon