Chemical Chords (CD)


Stereolab

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Amoeba Review

John Schacht 05/31/2010

 Nearly a dozen full-lengths into their two-decade career, the alchemist co-op Stereolab felt the need to shake things up, though Chemical Chords’ core blend of lounge-pop, gentle 60s psychedelia and Krautrock rhythms couldn’t possibly be by any other band. But here Tim Gane and company adopt a different songwriting approach, one of conscious concision. Built on tiny drum loops and improvised piano/guitar chords, the formula-tweak gives their Marcel Duchamp-meets-Henry Mancini vibe a sonic nip-and-tuck. The vibe is most obvious in swift-moving pop numbers like “Silver Hands,” where driving guitars and marching percussion contrast with bubbly vibraphone lines and Laetitia Sadler’s airy vocals. You can say the same for summer-friendly bookends “Self-Portrait with ‘Electric Brain’,” all sunny horn sections and soul-rich string arrangements, and “Cellulose Sunshine,” where Sean O’Hagan’s strings and the harpsichord-like keys make for a modern take on down-the-rabbit-hole psychedelia. On “Daisy Click Clack,” Stereolab even break new ground, bar-room piano rolls highlighting an armada of keyboard lines in one of the band’s most straight-forward pop songs to date. This deep into a career defined by such an original sound, change is about nuance rather than shock – what’s surprising here is how fresh that nuance sounds.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Neon Beanbag
Stereolab 03:49
2.
Three Women
Stereolab 03:46
3.
One Finger Symphony
Stereolab 02:06
4.
Chemical Chords
Stereolab 05:13
5.
The Ecstatic Static
Stereolab 04:44
6.
Valley Hi!
Stereolab 02:15
7.
Silver Sands
Stereolab 03:08
8.
Pop Molecule
Stereolab 02:15
9.
Self Portrait With Electric Brain
Stereolab 03:17
10.
Nous Vous Demandons Pardon
Stereolab 04:52
11.
Cellulose Sunshine
Stereolab 02:36
12.
Fractal Dream Of A Thing
Stereolab 03:37
13.
Daisy Click Clack
Stereolab 03:29
14.
Vortical Phonotheque
Stereolab 03:07

BUY
$15.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
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