The Apples in stereo are time-travelers. I don’t mean in the same way that can be said for the rest of us — though it’s true that they’re ALSO traveling at the exciting rate of 1 sec/sec, but rather musical time travelers. They started out 20 years ago, give or take, in about 1966, give or take — about the time of Pet Sounds, and though it’s taken them 20 years, they’ve finally hit the mid-70s; the touchstone for this album isn’t so much Brian Wilson as it is Eric Carmen of the Raspberries or Jeff Lynne of ELO; that awesome 70s-AM-Radio-Power-Pop sound, with a healthy dose of space-age synths and effects. The result is the aptly titled Travellers In Space And Time, and it’s one of their best albums… well, since the last one, anyway. (Seriously, all their albums are one of their best. Even my least favorite, Tone Soul Evolution, is one of their best — and this is said without diluting the term “best” and what that implies about the quality.)
Like their debut, Fun Trick Noisemaker, this one starts with a spacey sample to get things started off; though this time, we’re informed about the Code, rather than how the album is coming to us from space. Though, honestly, it may as well be coming from space. The best things always do — don’t get me started on the stopping of manned space missions, I won’t shut up, and this is neither the time nor place for it, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the Apples agree with me that that’s a huge mistake. Later, space comes to us with “Strange Solar System”, a brief song in the vein of “Calling Occupants Of Interstallar Craft” by Klaatu and/or the Carpenters, leading into the great song and first single “Dance Floor”. “Hey Elevator” with its insanely great hook is a definite highlight too (and available via a free download! Neato!).
Since the album came out, it hasn’t left my iPod; it’s currently sharing space with DEVO’s Something For Everybody and Janelle Monae’s The Arch-Android, along with some other stuff, like all the Kit Kelley cuts that’ve come out so far. While it might not sound like any of those, it’s definitely in good company in terms of quality. I’m glad the Apples exist — and you should be too. They bring so much joy and good music is it daft to not be glad. Thank you, Apples.