The Apples in Stereo

Velocity of Sound

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    6
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Velocity of Sound lives up to its title. The album hurries past, a flurry of energetic beats and nasal vocals that suggest the Chipmunks on a caffeine buzz. Each song is tight and compressed; no superfluous notes slop out, and even the guitar solos seem whittled down to the minimum. With two new members in the band, the core of the Apples in Stereo remains Robert Schneider, whose lyrics possess a guileless charm. ("Your friends hate my guts," he cheerfully announces at the top of "That's Something I Do.") Even when promising that he has a dagger in his hand, on "Do You Understand?," the impact is earnest and innocent, like a kid hustling candy on Halloween. Retro touches lighten the weight of the snarling guitars, with loopy organ doodles on "Better Days" and a harmonic counterpoint on "Baroque" that harks all the way back to Harpers Bizarre. The result throughout Velocity of Sound is an impression of the Apples in Stereo as introductory ironists, non-threatening to kids and parents, accessible and enjoyable to all.

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