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Apollo 13

Lovebomb

(US: 9 May 2006; UK: Unavailable)

This Lawrence, Kansas combo make no secret that their sophomore album was made possible by winning the Dance/Electronica part of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Apparently, the contest was judged on good intentions rather than actual songwriting ability. Though they have spunk in a Barenaked Ladies kind of way (if you can stomach that) and sound genuinely interested in spreading cosmic good vibes, Apollo 13 try on techniques and genres the way a kid tries on Halloween costumes—hardly settling into one before casting it off for another. Stoner rock, garage rock, Beatlesque pop, and—oh, yeah—trancey electronica all make brief appearances, but only the atmospheric space-rock of “Up, Up & Away” sticks to the wall. That Apollo 13 openly acknowledge Lenny Kravitz as an influence speaks highly of their generous spirit, but of their songs? Not so much.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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