Reviews: 2004

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Revolutionary debut

2004-12-30 from source: St Petersburg Times

Miracles happen. A recent one might well have been a surprise free gig last week by Laetitia Sadier, the French frontwoman of the British band Stereolab that played a one-off local concert last July.

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2004-09-26 from source: stereolab official forum

Just got back from the show at the Hollywood Bowl. I swear, to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it was better than sex. The Groop kicked ass tonight! I'm not good with song names but I know that they did play lo boob, cybele's, and a bunch of others. They played 3 songs with a small orchestra (not as big as the one Air used. The first song they played with the orchestra was Diagonals, and it was fucking stellar. can't remember what the second one was, but cybele's was the last song, also with the orchestra.

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San Diego show report with setlist

2004-09-24 from source: stereolab official forum

First of all....there's no damn cybercafes in Los Angeles ?.....jeez, I'd spent the whole day looking for just one almost all around Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Thanks Cyberjava at Hollywood Av and La Brea for this miracle !!!

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Leeds Festival 2004 (Sunday)

2004-08-29 from source: rockbeast

radio 1 stage

Now here is a band with a difference, combining all their electronic hardware with almost mystic/ambient vocals to produce a lush funk sound. Recently reformed after pivotal member, Mary Hansen was killed in a bicycle accident in 2002, Stereolab are back out on the road with their new album "Margarine Eclipse" that is loaded with sophisticated textures and tunes. The Radio One tent was captivated by Stereolab and their diversity that made for a sound that fitted so many moods with the cross over between genres many bands would be frightened of attempting.

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tonight at the garage

2004-08-24 from source:

Joe was hot and sweaty. Even Laetitia had to keep towelling down. Tim's had a slightly shorter haircut. They had a new horn player, Adam, who's Joe's brother.

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Musical experiments in stereo

2004-07-09 from source: The St Petersburg Times

Following their Moscow gig four years ago, Stereolab, one of the U.K.'s most original and innovative bands will bring its blend of lo-fi, lounge and electronica to St. Petersburg. Backed by the British Council, Stereolab will come to St. Petersburg for a one-off concert and plan to spend five days in the city. The band, which suffered a tragic loss when the guitarist and second vocalist Mary Hansen was killed in a bicycle accident in London in February 2002, has since gone through some lineup changes.

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Transient Random Noise Bursts From Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier

2004-06-06 from source: Big Takeover

In pop music, the death of a band member is almost always sudden and proves to be a watershed event. Sometimes, death inevitably foreordains the curtain for the group - Nirvana and The Gits clearly couldn't continue without Kurt Cobain and Mia Zapata, respectively. Sometimes, the force of inertia overcomes remaining band members - Lush didn't survive Chris Acland's suicide. Otehr times, death points the way for a new direciton - Joy Division morphed into New Order following Ian Curtis's suicide, The Ruts continued as Ruts D.C. after Malcom Own's overdose/drowning, and The Minutement regrouped as fIREHOSE after D. Boon's fatal car accident. And some groups opt for what seems to be the hardest decision of all: to continue under the same name, with no assurances that the chemistry of the surviving band will results in work that serves both the memory of the departed and the reputation of the remaining. To give but one example, regardless of some worthy music they subsequently released, The Who never reclaimed its glory after Keith Moon died. So it's all the more impressive that Stereolab has managed to move forward so well after the tragic and horrific December 9, 2002 Central London bicycle accident death (news reports suggested a truck had backed up into her) of 36-year-old Australian keyboardist and backing vocalist Mary Hansen - as seen on their sparkling new Margerine Eclipse [Elektra] one of the best LPs ever released in the band's long career.

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2004-05-08 from source: UmbrellaMusic

For all the hype that can surround the latest shit-hot rock band, there is something nice about the cool, calmness of a seasoned musician

Speaking with Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier serves to reinforce this theory. After more than a decade crooning anthems for the Wallpaper generation, she has a unique reserve while doing this latest tour of press in support of Margerine Eclipse. Yet, given a bit of rope Sadier veers into politics, issues of gentrification, the relevance of organic food and is instantly interested and interesting. When I express surprise that the hypnotic sensual genre Stereolab helped pioneer seems more a soundtrack for the fashion elite than the latest protest march, she soldiers on.

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Solana Beach review

2004-04-30 from source: uhf message board

Just watch the Salana Beach show last night.

My first time witnessing the band live. Why these guys aren't playing Carnegie hall with full brass support and strings is beyond me.

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Good Stuff

2004-04-21 from source: Terry Watts

Andy's B-day!

It just so happened to be Andy the Drummer's birthday! Happy birthday, Andy! A great show, much better than the last time I saw them: Roskilde Festival 1997 tons of rain and knee deep mud in some places. Thanks to the band and crew, especially Martin.

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Lab Rats

2004-04-15 from source: The Journal News - music line

Laetitia Sadier, vocalist and songwriter for the stately pop group Stereolab, was initially skeptical that she would be able to spend the rest of her life making music.

"I used to think, 'Why are people coming back to our shows?'" she says with a laugh. "We were so bad!" That was almost 15 years ago. Over time, Sadier learned to dispel her doubts, and Stereolab's consistency and durability has helped them to forge one of the most distinct and impressive careers in popular music.

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Back to the 'Lab

2004-04-15 from source: Creative Loafing Atlanta

Restructured Stereolab doesn't let the past eclipse its potential

Stereolab surely has soundtracked many a hipster's romantic overture, so it logically follows its members get plenty of action on the road, right?

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tumbleweed bandana Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-04-09 from source: sort of fried proverbs

I don’t think I did a proper review of Margerine Eclipse, so here goes:

Whenever Stereolab comes out with a new album, haters and some critics immediately proclaim the creative death of the group. Others simply say, “Ah Stereolab, heard one of their albums, you heard ‘em all.” And yet others say “Stereolab, heard 2 seconds of one of their songs, you heard ‘em all.” And the diehard “groop” fans simply proclaim that it is another masterpiece without questioning any of the band’s decisions. Lots of writers also recount what other critics and fans would or will say. So without any further ado, my take on Stereolab’s Margerine Eclipse (2004).

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Stereolab, Air, focus on bright side

2004-04-09 from source: The Boston Globe (

What happens when a band known for fizzy Europop stumbles into spate of adversity?

The primary languages of the band Stereolab are French and English, not angst and heartache. So when the band's guitarist and co-vocalist, Mary Hansen, was killed in a cycling accident a year and a half ago, it simply wasn't within Stereolab's lexicon to record a sad-sack collection of moody tunes to help address its grief.

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Stereolab @ Pageant, St Louis

2004-04-08 from source:

Chances are, there weren't too many Stereolab fans singing along to the band's concert at the Pageant on Thursday night.

It's not that Stereolab isn't the creator of a number of well-crafted ditties - it is. But the band's music, as fans well understand, can be complicated and hookless. The fact that many of the lyrics were sung in French didn't help matters much, and sometimes one couldn't tell whether singer Laetitia Sadier was singing in English or French.

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Stereolab: Artificial Alchemy

2004-04-08 from source:

Tim Gane talks about music, words and the joys and perils of obsessive fandom

Stereolab's ninth album is a joyous and immediate one Marrgerine Eclipse is a celebration of life in the face of great adversity. In the past couple of years, the band have weathered the death of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mary Hansen in a bicycle accident, as well as lead singer Laetitia Sadier and guitarist-songwriter Tim Gane's divorce. Speaking on the phone from a tour stop in Chicago, Gane sounds happy to have gotten through this dark period and to be back on the road. Despite a slight hangover ("Now I know why I don't drink whiskey very much"), he's an enthusiastic and likeable conversationalist. Here, Gane talks about music, words and the joys and perils of obsessive fandom.

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Playing through

2004-04-08 from source: Hour magazine (Montreal, Canada)

Stereolab are par for the course despite their recent tragic handicap

Tim Gane can't say for sure how often he and his 13-year-old band have dutifully travelled from coast to coast. Eight, nine, maybe ten times - at least that if you include the double tour, twice 'round for one album, successfully executed on many occasions.

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Krautrock Reborn

2004-04-07 from source: river front times

Stereolab took tragedy and turned it into Margerine Eclipse

Except that it's no flashback. For the first time in close to a decade, Stereolab is once again allowing itself to rock in its own smart, idiosyncratic way. Margerine Eclipse is the kind of upbeat, cheerful Stereolab album some of us figured we'd never hear again.

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STL today interview

2004-04-07 from source:

Dreamy, eclectic, cinematic ... it's all mixed up in the Stereolab

Describing Stereolab's music can be difficult, depending on the many reference points you use. Critics have fumbled with hybrids such as Burt Bacharach meets the Velvet Underground or, say, the hipper ones, Can meets the Free Design.

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Stereolab Plays On

2004-04-06 from source: Blogumentary

Stereolab alive in Minneapolis

It's getting harder to go out these days. All you damn kids, with your damn music and cigarettes - phooey! Stereolab is one band that gets us old alt-rock geezers out of our wife-beaters and into the club.

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No Espeaky Frances? No Problemo Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-04-03 from source: MXDWN

There are more good things that come from Europe, other than food and wine.

This section of the world also produces experimental and tasty bands like Air, Stereo Total and Stereolab.

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SLAP interview

2004-04-00 from source: Slap Skateboard magazine

A web exclusive interview with STEREOLAB

For the complete ignorant, a little background info: How long have you been together? Well Tim and I started the band in the early '90s, in 1990 in fact. Our first record came out in 1991, a self-produced record. It was called "The Light That Will Seize to Fail" (aka Super 45). It was like a 10-inch record and we started our own label as well, which we still have in England. We kind of have had a loose member[ship], a loose band that became a bit more permanent. I mean, we have had many members throughout the years. Andy being the oldest member, apart from me and Tim who started the band. We signed to Elektra in 1993 and have been with them since then and have made numerous records and been on numerous tours.

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Living in Dual Mono

2004-03-31 from source: Seattle Weekly

On Margerine Eclipse, Stereolab daydream in Technicolor.

In 1940, the composer Olivier Messiaen wrote in his notes for his "Quartet for the End of Time": "In my dreams, I hear recognized chords and melodies, I see known colors and forms; then, after this transitory stage, I pass beyond reality and submit in ecstasy to a dizziness, a gyratory interlocking of superhuman sounds and colours. These swords of fire, these flows of blue-orange lava, these sudden stars; this is the tumult of rainbows!"

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second SF show

2004-03-30 from source: official site forum

A filmed gig...

I went to both [SF] shows and thought they were amazing. I had seen them twice at the Fillmore in 2001 and they were still just as good. On the second night, there was a film crew shooting the band's performance for an upcoming documentary on Bob Moog (yes, the band was using the newly released black Moog Voyager... hopefully that's the correct name).

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san francisco show

2004-03-29 from source:

hey all you people.... just back from the first sf show and thought i'd write in for the 1st time in ages.

i've only heard the new record once (and given my initial optimism cuz of the ep, i was somewhat disappointed), so i wont list the new songs, but i was sort of surprised at how much i liked the show tonight!

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Stereolab won't let Hansen be forgotten

2004-03-29 from source: Alameda Times-Star

Something was missing Monday night at the Fillmore in San Francisco. And I like to believe that's exactly how Stereolab wanted it.

Mary Hansen, who joined Stereolab in 1992, died in late 2002 after being struck by an automobile while riding a bicycle in London. She was 36.

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The Fillmore

2004-03-29 from source: mesh magazine

In the twenty-something minutes I spent waiting for Stereolab to take the stage at the Fillmore, I had never felt like such an old bag in my life.

It was an all-ages show and I was in the vicinity of some teenagers pontificating loudly about their favorite bands and albums. Some highlights from my involuntary eavesdropping were overhearing the teenagers refer to Peng (1992) as Ancient History Stereolab, as well as praising the classic sound of Sonic Youths Experimental Jet Set and No Star. Dear Lord, I felt the wrinkles just grow on my face right there.

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Phoenix rising

2004-03-27 from source: Terminal City world service (Vancouver, Canada)

For the first time since member Mary Hansen tragically passed, Stereolab returns with a larger touring ensemble

Always one of the finest examples of 1960s Euro-pop elegance meeting the future, from trance synths to bright French fizz, theres something wonderfully unique and lovely about the sweet, trippy drone and pulse of Stereolab. For the first time since member Mary Hansen tragically passed, Stereolab returns with a brilliant and spritely new record and larger touring ensemble. I spoke with group founder Tim Gane:

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the New stereolab universe

2004-03-16 from source:

Stereolab entered the stage at 21.30, and we discovered the NEW Stereolab universe, with 7 people, and with more electronic sounds than ever!

We took the Corail Teoz train in Paris Gare de l'Est at 12.49. Because of the cancelling of a friend who has a car, we decided a more common but exausting way to go to Strasbourg. Due to the new terrorism madness, security was very tight in Paris... I may be honest saying we were the only parisian fans to travel, we did not see any other fans at the station in Strasbourg, where we arrived at 17.00. We did a short visit to the cathedral (Isa is from Montral and saw Stereolab in 2001 Spectrum, one of the longest gigs of the band). Then we tried to found La Laiterie, a well known venue in the East of France and Strasbourg. Many bands have played here, and Stereolab was supposted to play here in 2001, but cancelled due to the illness of Latitia.

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Stereolab @ Islington Academy, London

2004-03-04 from source:

There simply is no other band like Stereolab.

I have been to many of London's music venues and, just like seeing a band for the first time, the chance to go to a new one is an interesting experience. But what I didn't expect was to find one resembling the Top of the Pops studio inside a shopping centre.

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Cor! Franglais!

2004-03-03 from source: PlayLouder

They're brassy and they're sassy. They're... Stereolab?

Ooh, it's a religious experience, this. No, really, it is - the new Academy may not be the most claustrophobic of venues, but we see at least two people actually faint. Now, we wouldn't want you to think that Stereolab fans are automatically sensitive souls, but, let's be honest, the 'Lab have, in recent years, become more of a collection of stereotypes than a strictly vital band, which was surely never the point.

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Stereolab, To Rococo Rot @ Academy 3

2004-03-02 from source: Manchester

The sold-out performance was competent and more playful than you'd expect from a band now over a decade old: they played faster when it was hoped they would and looked pleased to be here.

LACKING stereotypical German efficiency - but with stereotypical German fashion sense - Berlin's three-piece To Rococo Rot arrived on stage thirty minutes late, sporting tanktops and long fringes. They did, however, play a longer-than-planned set, hunched over drums, low-end synthesisers and other assorted pieces of machinery.

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Even in the shadow of pain, this is the best of Europop

2004-03-01 from source:

For just a few brief moments at this ? only Stereolab's second gig since... well, we'll get to that in a minute ? there was a hint of something in the air.

Something not entirely unwelcome, but just a little glimpse that all was not as it should be. In the insistent bass pattern, which bordered on the frayed angularity of New York New Wave, and in the deep, lustful house beat of the drum machine that punctuated it, there was a definite manly musk. A hint too much testosterone, perhaps, for this most feminine of pop groups.

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Moving On

2004-03-01 from source: what's new, pussycat?

There was a crowd gathered around the old lady. She was face-down on the pavement outside a little pub, a policeman crouched beside her. Her hair was bright white against the grimy concrete and grey afternoon.

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Stirling Silver

2004-02-29 from source:

Just back from an absolutely storming warm up gig for the tour in Stirling.

We arrived early and watched master shopkeeper Pikey setting out his wares and after a brief chat went off with copies of the tour single (CD only for the time being) and ... a mug!

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Stereolab moves forward

2004-02-27 from source: Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority

Tragedy strikes like a body blow. It knocks your wind, and whether it's for seconds or months you feel like you'll never recover, like you're not the same person any more. In December 2002, Stereolab vocalist Mary Hansen who'd been with the group since 1993s The Groop Played "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music" was struck and killed by a truck while riding her bicycle in London, England. She was 32.

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More of the same Marxist pop songs, only not as catchy Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-02-05 from source: Rolling Stone

Maybe we should be glad that Stereolab are in a holding pattern.

The group lost a singer and guitarist when Mary Hansen died in a bicycle accident on December 9th, 2002. But the new Stereolab album,Margerine Eclipse, is neither a reminiscence nor a reinvention - it's more of the same, with gurgling synthesizers, leisurely tempos and "ba-da-ba" backing vocals.

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Cheerfully Brilliant (4 out of 5) Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-02-02 from source: Drowned In Sound

Itd be a crushing understatement to say that last year must have been a bit crap at times for Stereolab, but if they didnt laugh, theyd only cry.

The death of a founder member would leave most bands in the no-win quandary of either splitting up or going to ground to record their darkalbum. A hundred and one references to endless black holes and soulless concrete streets, where not even a fart in a library could raise a smile, are all that are left to fill the void.

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This is Stereolab We're Talking About Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-02-02 from source: BBC

The death of Mary Hansen was a tragic loss to not just Stereolab, but music in general...

and so integral was Hansen to the band's sound that the 'Lab could have been forgiven for taking at least a downward tack in their music as a result. But this is Stereolab we're talking about, the kings and queens of bouncy, airy indie pop, and so the most fitting tribute they can pay to Hansen is take her spirit and push it through their sound in the most life-affirming, ecstatic way.

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Interview with Tim, Laetitia and Andy

2004-02-01 from source: Reflex magazine

Once upon a time, Tim Gane was a fresh-faced youth whose musical aspirations included a collaboration with peers in the basements of uppity music stores.

Rather than drag an unwilling girlfriend with him into the bowels of the local guitar emporium to impress her with amateurish tinkering on various high-end guitars, Gane would assemble a group of friends for impromptu jam sessions, much to the horror of those in attendance.

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Stereolab: Total eclipse of the heart

2004-01-30 from source:

Tragedy visited Stereolab during the making of their new album. They tell James McNair how they came through it

Tragedy befell Stereolab on 9 December 2002. "We'd turned up to rehearse, and our manager, Martin, was standing outside with his mobile," recalls the band's guitarist, Tim Gane. "He looked weird, and when he came off the phone, he said: 'I've got some really bad news.' We thought maybe we'd been dropped by the record label, but then he said: 'Mary's been killed.' I thought, 'What Mary? I only know our Mary.' Then it sank in, and the void appeared."

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One of the greatest bands in the world Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-01-28 from source: The Onion AV

The members of Stereolab have favored expansive exotica and sedate suites on their past few albums, but they've never needed more than a driving keyboard drone and a crisp guitar clip to sound like one of the greatest bands in the world.

The group's storied motorik glide has remained a bit muddy and muted since 1996's Emperor Tomato Ketchup, but it comes rushing back on Margerine Eclipse, an album that twitches with new ideas while relaxing in remembrance. Sonic mastermind Tim Gane has said that he crafted the first single, "'...Sudden Stars'," as a pastiche of old and new source tape, and it shows.

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CD review: Stereolab's 'Margerine Eclipse' Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-01-28 from source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

One of the most consistent - haters would say "repetitive" - bands of the past 10 years, Stereolab has refined its Jetson-esque pop craft to a machinelike efficiency.

For a group that combines mostly unintelligible (and often French) lyrics with keyboard-heavy electro-pop melodies, the music is fantastically accessible. Stereolab songs are Euro-civilized, producing a soothing coo. More than perhaps any other band, Stereolab sounds like the future.

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Margerine Eclipse loses the momentum Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-01-23 from source:

With the worldly, mellifluous lilt of French vocalist Laetitia Sadler leading the way...

With the worldly, mellifluous lilt of French vocalist Laetitia Sadler leading the way on discs like "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" and "Mars Audiac Quintet," the London-based folks in Stereolab dress up Krautrockian drone with streamlined 1960s-era chic and space-age rock urbanity.

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There's Nothing New for the Listener Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-01-23 from source: Tiny Mix Tapes

Seems to me there are two types of people: those who enjoy Stereolab, and those who dont.

Those who do enjoy Stereolab hear something fresh and new with each album the band releases. Those who do not enjoy Stereolab listen to the album and hear the same blips, bops, beeps, and dots.

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Rating: 7.6 (Very good) Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-01-16 from source: Pitchfork Media

On one hand, you have a group that have clearly said everything they wanted to say, whatever it is they wanted to say.

This is a pretty common criticism of bands by people who probably stopped listening to the records years ago-- though to be fair, if that's your idea of a flaw, Stereolab are deeply flawed. It's certainly something I've considered from time to time. Why it should come up more often with this band than, say, Radiohead, is another question.

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True Mars Rocks Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-01-12 from source: Industrie Toulouse

When Stereolab released Sound-Dust back in 2001, they snuck a whammy on me.

Initially, I wasn't impressed by the album, although I enjoyed a couple of songs. But when I really started listening to it more fully, I realized that it was a milestone work. It transcended Stereolab's "retro-pop" sound, no longer belonging to some past vision of the future, but being very much what I wanted to listen to right then.

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A Postmodernist's Wet-Dream Margerine Eclipse

Album Review: Margerine Eclipse

2004-01-07 from source: CD Times

Stereolab released their maxi-EP Instant 0 In The Universe towards the end of last year...

and it was a brilliant five-track collection of songs that fluctuated violently between stomping euro-grooves and melodic ambiance, with lead temptress Ltitia Sadier's exotic vocals dancing on top.

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