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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.

back torevhead.gif (1924 bytes)   Published in the Omaha Weekly Nov. 7, 2001. Posted Sept. 24, 2001. Copyright © 2001 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Rating: No

Obligatory pull-quote: "Pleasant, though not particularly absorbing."