Home > Bargain > Stereolab – Dots and Loops

Stereolab – Dots and Loops

Elektra Records, 1997dotsLoops

Alright, alright I’m cheating.  This blog is dedicated to discs that I find (and usually buy) in dollar bins and I usually prefer to write about the more obscure and random stuff.  However, I can’t resist writing about a disc I found from an artist I’ve always enjoyed and really didn’t take too much of a risk on picking up.  Stereolab has been a long-term casual favorite of mine, which means they’re a group that I enjoy listening to but I don’t tend to seek them out.  Part of that has to do with the fact that I’m not one to listen to jazzy pop music all that often (which I should probably reconsider).  The other part is exactly what might be considered a fault with this record.

Stereolab are very predictable.  Aside from a few tracks here and there, for the most part, you know what you are getting with a Stereolab album.  Warm, comforting swirls of keyboard and guitar compositions draped with the pleasantly smooth vocals of Laetitia Sadler and the effective backup additions of the late Mary Hansen.  Every song is very full and animated, yet subtle and unimposing as you get swept up with the complexity of the pop rhythms.  I am speaking about pretty much every Stereolab record they’ve produced that I’ve come across, and though it doesn’t help much to discern whether this record is better than any others, I have to say that I couldn’t find a true dud anywhere within these ten tracks.  The group will slow things down, or they’ll add a peculiar effect in once in awhile, but it’s nothing that would make most want to skip ahead.  I still like “Miss Modular” very much, which is likely due to its over-familiarity as the Stereolab song even if it is consistent with much of Stereolab’s other output.  However, if you haven’t heard it yet then you must do so now.

This is why I don’t write reviews on bands whose material I feel that I know rather well. I will just sit here and glow about them without commenting on how repetitive they might sound or that they could be losing a little interest with age.  They are not on everyone’s list of favorite or enjoyable bands, yet I think Stereolab can’t foul up too much on anything they put out.  Even their more recent records of “Chemical Chords” and “Fab Four Suture” still have the fine Stereolab grooves that most have come to know them for.  I don’t think you will find many Stereolab records in dollar bins, but if you do, pick it up and make sure it finds a good set of ears to listen to it.  Stereolab is a wonderful band.

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