Initial caveat: I don't own any other Stereolab
records or CDs. Aficionados of the band, forget about getting comparisons
to Emperor Tomato Ketchup or whatever.
For some reason, I expected this to be experimental. It's not. A modern
instrumental-based (not techno, not "electronica") Euro-sounding
project that has a lot in common with Air (yeah, I know these guys came
first). They interweave solid trip-hoppy rhythms with pseudo-mod retro
keyboards and '70s Bacharach-style horn arrangements to great effect. Add
to that a low, throaty female vocal just right for Rick's Café Americana.
My girlfriend immediately fell for this. For me, it borders on
lounge/dental chair music, but its intricate arrangements keep it from
being a total loss. This is the kind of music that the guy in American
Psycho might play when he's trying to seduce another secretary (before
the chainsaw scene). Music perfect for an art show or cocktail party,
where a few hipsters might ask either: 1) who is this? or 2) is this Air?
After numerous listenings, Laetitia Sadier's flat, almost atonal vocals
begin to grow on you, even if you don't know what she's singing about (it's in
French). Becomes a bit tiring and blurred about halfway through. Chances
are, however, that you'll forget that it's even on by then. Pleasant,
though not particularly absorbing.