New Magnetic Wonder - The Apples In Stereo
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Each of its 24 tracks snaps and crackles with Schneider's sugary, peerless pop. [16 Feb 2007, p.76]
  2. Even at its clunkiest, the album sparks.
  3. 82
    Apples' Robert Schneider has continued to hack away at the ins-and-outs of the most perfect psychedelic pop formations ever, and New Magnetic Wonder offers proof.
  4. Easily the most ambitious and compelling Apples record since the [Elephant 6] heyday. [#16, p.89]
  5. New Magnetic Wonder’s high points are in its more quirky and musically ambitious moments.
  6. 80
    New Magnetic Wonder can make a claim to be the definitive AIS album. [Apr 2007, p.92]
  7. A crisply recorded set of bouncing rockers, sweetly strummed ballads and vaguely trippy mid-tempo tracks that are full of hooks, melodies and goofy fun.
  8. No great departure from earlier stuff, New Magnetic Wonder is full of bright melodies that veer between the Beach Boys and the Kinks, and a guitar-keyboards-drums sound that bounces between hard-rocking, bubbly and lush.
  9. 80
    New Magnetic Wonder couldn't be brighter if it had been performed on the sun. [Feb 2007, p.82]
  10. NMW works as a ‘00s update of British invasion rock and orchestral and baroque pop, just as Jeff Lynne and the boys updated those sounds for the ‘70s.
  11. He's turned the clock back to the Fun Trick Noisemaker era of playful psychedelic indulgence that was the Apples' stock in trade before the unsavoury aspirations of indie-rock stardom took hold.
  12. This album heralds a return to form for the Apples in Stereo, and its densely layered sound utilizes so many tracks of instrumentation that it would have made the young [Brian] Wilson weep with envy.
  13. [It] approaches the peak the Apples hit with 1999's Her Wallpaper Reverie.
  14. Those disappointed with Velocity’s, raw, live sound, will see this album as a return to form. Those that dug its easily digestible garage rock will, in turn, view New Magnetic Wonder as a step forward.
  15. The disc’s best stuff — such as the hard-rocking opener, “Can You Feel It?” — makes it easy to get swept up in his limitless enthusiasm.
  16. 70
    New Magnetic Wonder cloaks itself in a glow of irrelevancy. But beneath, Schneider's gooey power-pop thrives. [Jan/Feb 2007, p.76]
  17. In the context of such a refreshing, instantly likable album, even the abstract linking tracks work, breaking up the 13 sugary full-length songs and allowing each to be unwrapped and savored individually.
  18. Sitting through an album of catchy but ultimately vapid pop songs isn't made any more satisfying when there's a staggering track near the end.
  19. While these [linking tracks] suggest Schneider's appreciation for the short-form work of electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott, they stop well short of giving Wonder the thematic consistency it seeks (and needs).
  20. As ever... not everything comes off. But the good bits are very good indeed. [Apr 2007, p.116]
  21. Infuriatingly inconsistent. [Dec 2006, p.90]
  22. On this album, Schneider seems a bit torn between his task as a hook-writing pop musician and a seeming urge to rock a bit harder, with the added burden of being unable to put his toys down when he should.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. MikefromMaine
    May 11, 2007
    9
    It reminds me of the Beatles (maybe just John), working their way out of the 60s, and thru the 70s/80s/90s, writing pop songs inspired by It reminds me of the Beatles (maybe just John), working their way out of the 60s, and thru the 70s/80s/90s, writing pop songs inspired by bands of those times along the way. Some really nicely referenced classics on this on here, personally, I like the Sunndal song showing its Fastbacks influence veyr nicely. All in all, the most fun album of the year so far. Full Review »
  2. CaseyD
    Mar 28, 2007
    10
    So far the best album of the year. I think this is the album they wanted to make as a farefell to fans. Not that Velocity of Sound was a So far the best album of the year. I think this is the album they wanted to make as a farefell to fans. Not that Velocity of Sound was a throwaway. It felt more like an EP and this is their shining moment. Full Review »
  3. ThomasB
    Mar 20, 2007
    8
    This album marks Robert Schneider's return to his baroque and orchestral pop roots after the intentionally lo-fi charms of "Velocity of This album marks Robert Schneider's return to his baroque and orchestral pop roots after the intentionally lo-fi charms of "Velocity of Sound." While NMW press hype has concentrated on his math nerdery and invention of a new musical scale, the compositions and interstitial music showcasing it are rudimentary at best, though not unpleasant. Meanwhile, the songs in the normal 12 tones of the Pythagorean scale show Schneider's masterful hand at nodding to his influences (ELO, in this case) while producing catchy, upbeat pop that is uniquely his own and instantly identifiable. The lesson here: mathematical excursions into new sounds are all well and good, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Full Review »