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The Apples in Stereo, ‘New Magnetic Wonder’ (Simian/Yep Roc)

The Apples haven’t always made it easy to find their songs’ sweet, chewy centers, often obscuring pure pop in unnecessarily dense shells. But on his first album for actor Elijah Wood’s new label, chief Apple Robert Schneider gets back to the core — simple, catchy, unabashedly cheery — even while exploring a new musical scale (don’t ask) and tinkering with between-song “link-tracks.” New Magnetic Wonder (particularly “Can You Feel It?” and the ELO-inspired “Same Old Drag”) couldn’t be brighter if it had been performed on the sun.

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Now Hear This: The Apples in Stereo – “Energy” DOWNLOAD MP3

>> Listen to the Apples in Stereo on Napster