Review ·

More new than Neu!, with Chemical Chords Stereolab has broken ranks with the (admittedly wonderful) lockstep lounge drones of its past several albums in order to embrace something that is, for them, a bit more experimental: three-minute pop ditties.


From the four-on-the-floor arterial throb that opens “Three Women” into a brassy blast of lilting francophilic lyrics and '60s jazz-pop, to the skipping, breathless vocal pop and spidery organs of “Neon Beanbag,” to the bouncy baroque of “Cellulose Sunshine,” these "seriously, we’re not Marxist" Marxists have discovered the spry immediacy that most bands half their age usually lose two albums into a commercial, capitalist-fueled career (just kidding you, 'Lab).


Though some of the oddball, art-house tendencies have been lost in this new translation of the band’s music, there has never been a better, brighter or more immediately satisfying pop soundtrack to Das Kapital.

  • Neon Beanbag
  • Three Women
  • One Finger Symphony
  • Chemical Chords
  • Ecstatic Static
  • Valley Hi!
  • Silver Sands
  • Pop Molecule
  • Self Portrait with Electric Brain
  • Nous Vous Demandons Pardons
  • Cellulose Sunshine
  • Fractal Dream of a Thing
  • Daisy Click Clack
  • Vortical Phonotheque

Stereolab's output in the 2000s has been marked by a return to the old: brisk tempos, jerky rhythms, and signature wit. The reboot likely still stems from the 2002 passing of vocalist Mary Hansen, but has been helpful in keeping the band on track. The group's ninth album, "a collection of "purposefully short, dense, fast pop songs" according to co-founder Tim Ganes, promises to stay the course.

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this is a really good record. "Self Portrait with Electric Brain" and "Neon Beanbag" are two of my favorite songs this year.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/breidy/Koko B. Ware.jpg breidy

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