I’ve been a Stereolab junkie for quite some time. Laetitia Sadier’s vocals and lyrics catapulted the band far beyond its Neu! foundations, creating a lush, layered, and hypnotic sound that was driven by 60s ambient pop, yet still politically grounded and fresh. I’ve always been curious to hear solo work from Sadier, because I’ve always understand her Stereolab partner Tim Gane to be the mind behind the instrumentation and Sadier to be responsible for lyrics and vocalization.
And so I am not surprised that I’m feeling unsure about the first song off Sadier’s first solo release, The Trip, to be traveling around the I-way, “The Million-Year Trip.” It’s stripped-down Stereolab, beautiful, but without the punch and complexity, sonically speaking. What remains are Sadier’s lyrics, which betray the depth Stereolab has always been famous for. In “One Million Year Trip,” Sadier sings her sister’s suicide:
“My little sister’s voice / Forever muted, inaudible / She went on a million year trip / And left everything behind.”
Just as I’d always go see one of my acting heroes, such as Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren, even if they were in B heist police procedural horror films involving Poltergeists (just combined all of my least favorite genres), I’ll buy Sadier’s album and give it the full listen.
Although I was not a fan of Atlas Sound’s full album last year, despite Brad Cox’s new status as the darling of the indie world, I loved what I consider to be one of the strongest tracks off it and that 2009 had to offer, “Quick Canal,” the one Sadier sings on and obviously had a strong role in, because the song is much more layered than most of the other tracks on the album and features Stereolab’s classic drone and repetition.
Also out this week are two things I have less to say about. People are losing their lunch over The Hundred in the Hands’ new synth pop post-punk release, their debut album. Here’s “Dressed in Dresden”:
I waffle over Gucci Mane, but not over this track of his sophomore release The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted, which features N.E.R.D. frontman Pharell Williams and Nicki Minaj. I refuse to say “Haterade” out loud, though. Luckily, this is a music blog, and I don’t have to.