It's difficult to dislike The Apples In Stereo, whose 1997 album Tone Soul Evolution is now receiving a re-release at the hands of big-label admirers. It's also an act that's easier to dismiss than it should be. Borrowing liberally from the three B's of power-pop—The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Big Star—as well as any number of starry-eyed garage bands, The Apples' sound could easily be seen as a thin tribute to its forebears. That it doesn't fall apart under scrutiny is a tribute to the group's skill. While occasionally a bit too cute, particularly during its second half, Tone Soul Evolution offers up plenty of fine pop music, delivered in such a way that is plenty enjoyable, if not especially original. It takes craftsmanship to turn out catchy numbers like "Seems So" and "Shine A Light," both penned by lead singer Robert Schneider, while "Silver Chain," the lovely vocal and songwriting contribution of drummer Hilarie Sidney, speaks to a depth within the band that has yet to be fully explored. Like the best pop music, The Apples In Stereo couches melancholy sentiments in cheerful melodies. Tone Soul Evolution indicates that if the band continues in the direction it's headed, it could end up making some great pop music.