Sweet Apple Pie

Between the Lines

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    8
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Pitched somewhere between Sloan, the Apples in Stereo, and Club 8, France's Sweet Apple Pie provide a sound much like their name: warm, sweet, and wholesome. Between the Lines is their second album, and it is a huge step forward from their first. In fact, it is one of the better indie pop records you will hear in 2004. The songwriting is tight, the arrangements are fully realized, and the group vocals are large and lush, sometimes coming close to Polyphonic Spree proportions. Songs like "Harder Than We Thought," "Pray Before," and "Oyster" reflect a '70s influence, sometimes sounding like Squeeze, sometimes like a more flexible ABBA. Always sounding good and hooky, Between the Lines is full of laid-back charm; it's the kind of record that radiates warmth from beginning to end. Playing it is like hanging out with the kind of friend with whom you don't have to say anything; you just have to be there. Add Sweet Apple Pie to the list of bands making adult pop (Walker Kong, the Heavy Blinkers, Young and Sexy) drawn from the '70s and '80s but sounding completely modern and completely fabulous.

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