Apollo LTD | What Are You Waiting For (s/r)

It has it all: rich vocals, thoughtful lyrics, catchy melody, addictive guitar and vocal lines, a retro touch, and vocoder vocals


First, I have to get something off my chest. I gave this one a listen because the publicist described it as a “guilty pleasure.” While I know what he means, I hate that term. I don’t feel the least bit guilty for liking this band—or countless others in the pop genre, for that matter. Maybe indie snobs can’t admit to liking pop music—but I can, and I do.

That said, this EP is four catchy-as-hell songs that, if you’re like me, you’ll be proud to blast from your stereo speakers. Hell, I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can roll down the car windows and share it with everyone.

So…Apollo LTD. The Nashville duo, Jordan Phillips and Adam Stark, are a couple of talented kids. They checked the songwriter-session musician-touring band member–for-hire gig at the door and put their talents to good use: for themselves. Plus, they’re masters of the addictive song. Read on.

The disc opens with “March On,” a summer stadium anthem that, in a perfect world, will become just that. You’ll sway your hands, shake your head, march your feet, or a combination of all three, but trust me: You’ll have to move. Next up is “Modern Love,” the song that first drew me in. Here’s a link; go ahead and listen for yourself. I’ll wait.

[waiting…waiting…waiting…You want to sing along, don’t you?…waiting…waiting…You’ve got the refrain down now, don’t you? Belt it, baby!]

This, to me, is as close to perfect as pop songs come. It has it all: rich vocals, thoughtful lyrics, catchy melody, addictive guitar and vocal lines, a retro touch, and vocoder vocals. Yes, boys, we do really want it anyway.

“We Run the Night” begins with what sounds like a bit from an iPod commercial: It’s familiar, intriguing, and slightly off-putting. Throw in a bit of what made ’80s pop-rock great and you’re on the right track. Backing falsetto supports the stanzas before the song opens up on the refrain. There’s a lot of ingredients here, and it all blends together in just the right way. This band would have been all over the popular airwaves before payola and corporate ownership made it a money game and not a talent game.

The bad thing about an EP is that it’s too soon over, and that’s certainly the case here. Disc closer and title track “What Are You Waiting For” is ear candy, from the sung la-la-la’s at the beginning to the plethora of falsetto throughout. (Have I mentioned I can’t get enough of falsetto?)

It’s pop music, sure, but there are so many influences here that Apollo LTD has managed, by and large, to create its own thing. There’s enough talent and variety that, on their full-length release, I expect to see the band solidify its sound and direction a bit. But until that time—until I can get ahold of more than four songs—I’ll put What Are You Waiting For on repeat. Get ready, Denver drivers: Spring is just around the corner. A- | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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