Emperor Tomato Ketchup is the fourth studio album by English-French rock band Stereolab. It was released on 18 March 1996 and was issued by Duophonic Records and Elektra Records. The album is named after the 1971 experimental film Emperor Tomato Ketchup by Japanese author and director Shūji Terayama.Wikipedia
I have a big love for a lot of alt rock music and this actually is a great new discovery for me!! Never listened before and will now listen to more of their albums. I love the sound of this album it's going into my rotation! Love the mix of French and English. Can't believe I never heard of them before, I really can see how they would have been hugely influential and experimental in the 90s. Great stuff!
Eclectic without much substance, it wasn't unpleasant to listen to, and I do like French music, but overall just eh.
I enjoyed this album as background music. Too be honest this album could have been in a different language and I wouldn't have noticed. It does have a bizarre sound that I found amusing,
The sound of living in a city inside a French synthesizer. Surprisingly good stuff throughout.
I really enjoyed this. At first, the vocals were a little too... "french?" But "The Noise of Carpet"... man, that was really something. Totally dug that. The grooves on it and the vocals really grew on me after a while. Quite refreshing.
Not my type of music
Not one I will be rushing back to.
Ehhh....it wasn't terrible, but it didn't do much for me. Lazy review today. 2.
Meh. Not for me.
The name of this group is familiar, but I don't know this album and no tracks on it rang as familiar. It was some very pleasant and charming music. The tempos are upbeat and melodies looping to provide some "fun to work by" music for me. I am keeping this in my library.
Unfortunately for Stereolab, yesterday's listen was Elis Regina and she is a HARD act to follow. I really just wanted to keep listening to Elis. But I'm a good student and like to keep up with my homework so I made myself listen to Stereolab a couple of times today. It's good! Pleasant and unobtrusive, nice slow grooves. Favorite tracks were Metronomic Underground, OLV 26, and The Noise of Carpet. Now back to Brazil!
I enjoyed listening to this album. It has a smooth, sophisticated song sound mixed with the repetitive and extended feel of electronica tracks. I enjoy the vocals quite a bit. I enjoyed "Les Yper-Sound" quite a bit. I liked how they sang "op-PO-sites" (they did that kind of thing a lot with words). The title track was an example of where it could get a little tedious with its 1:40 one-note intro. But mostly I really enjoyed this music and would listen again.
Kinda weird, psychedelics
Agreement this was a chores to listen to. Maybe I'm just old but I can't and never really have been able to get into electronic music or whatever this crap is.
Alternativt, repetetivt, soundtrack-agtig
Fucking loved this shit. I cant explain why.
I love Stereolab, although for some reason I had never gone back and listened to this album before. I’m glad it came up because it is an album worth hearing! This album is chock full of interesting, vivid soundscapes that are perfect for chilling out to. Stereolab has a very distinct sound, but also mix things up enough that their songs are quite distinct and interesting. The lyrics aren’t so much the focus in a Stereolab song as they are another instrument. Some French, some English, but it wasn’t until the middle of some of the English songs that I realized they were singing my language. Even so, if you attend to them the lyrics often have very interesting topics they explore. My French is a bit rusty and the translation of the lyrics don’t always work well, but they provide another level of depth to explore and contemplate as you become more familiar with the songs. Here are a few highlights that stood out: "Cybele's Reverie" was really nice. I felt like I was floating along with the song. "Les Yper-Sound" is a catchy little number that seems appropriate to the political atmosphere in the US nowadays. I love the title track. Nice driving beat you can dance to and lovely French vocals. “Motoroller Scalatron” has a great jaunty tempo as it meditates on the nature of society. “Anonymous Collective” has great jingly bells and a really interesting bassline as it reminds us that we are not aware of all the forces at work in our lives. Great ending to the album. I liked everything on this album. Stereolab are formidable creators of electronic music and this is a fantastic album that more than earns its place on this list. Wonderful wonderful!
I loved it, can't really say why, it was so varied and kind of beautiful
Krautrock goes twee indie pop? Inject it into my veins! I could happily leave this album on repeat for a good chunk of time. Fave track - "Metronomic Underground", maybe, or the title track? I'm less into single tracks and more into the album as a whole on this one...
How, how, HOW?! Did I not know about these guys? Electronica? Check. Weird? Check. FRENCH? Check. Man, I am glad I found them. They are fucking weird.
Production: 14/20 Songwriting: 14/20 Innovation: 14/20 Bangers: 10/20 Emotional response: 16/20 =68 Solid. Nice. dependable. NINETIES. Also - it's the guitarist from Mccarthy and his wife - who knew?
Really pleasantly surprised. The songs have great build and strike the balance of having strong core riffs to keep the song together while they get abstract AF but also the slow changes throughout the song mean they don’t get repetitive. Nice array of quirky sounds used throughout. Singing isn’t great, but I guess you can’t have everything.
This album was strange but right up my alley. Groovy beats, wild synths, and dreamy vocals all contributed to my enjoyment of this. There was no single song that I loved but also no song that I disliked, so that's a good sign.
Eclectic mix of songs on this album. Chilled out so easy to listen to but some lovely vocals and interesting arrangements make this a lovely album to listen through.
This tomato ketchup based album surprised me. I wasn’t sure if I’d heard of stereolab before then remembered they made one of the songs from FlyLo FM on GTA V. Not sure if that means I really like them or that I’ve played GTA V too much. Anyway, 4/5.
Amazing how much of a wholly unique and incredible album this is. Just wonderful, not much else I can say.
The album grew on me with each song, I liked it quite a bit! Synthy, a little post-rocky at the tail end, it felt like a group that was just making the exact type of music they wanted to make.
Very interesting and varied album, almost getting some Deerhoof-y vibes from some of the songs. First album in this run that I will actually actively come back to.
‘What’s society built on?’ This is
Promisingly funky off the bat. Track 2 is a happy bop. Definitely digging this, would jam again.
This album feels like a bunch of ideas crammed into a certain style. Although that may sound like an insult, the album tends to pull it together by making sure their own style comes out rather than the random idea placed into the song. It's very relaxing and doesn't make you jump around too much.
In between looking up lyrics to the songs on this album while listening to it, I glanced at Spotify to see where I was in the album and I was startled to find that I was only on the third song--I thought I was half an hour in at least. Emperor Tomato Ketchup has that effect. While the songs themselves tend to be structurally simple, Stereolab piles on layer upon layer of rhythms, and counter-rhythms, underpinned by a motorik beat. The layering is also textural--the buzz of a distorted organ, electronic burbling, strings, vibraphone, guitar, and much more. All of this is topped off by the sing song vocals of Laeticia Sadler and Mary Hansen. The result is hypnotic--you spin down into the music and time distorts. Most of these songs are rather short, but they seem to go on forever. This is not a criticism, just an observation. How do I feel about this album? It's not as tuneful or accessible as the sophisticated retro-pop of Sound-Dust and lacks the gruff charm of Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements, but I like it a lot just the same. Why? Specific to Emperor Tomato Ketchup, I get lost in the sheer beauty of the elaborate soundworld Stereolab has created. It's like a music narcotic. More generally, I'm blown away by how effectively Stereolab has combined their influences into something utterly unique. Lounge music, grunge, krautrock, grunge, chanson--it would never in a million years occur to me to combine these things and somehow, magically, Stereolab makes it sound like the most natural thing in the world. My only criticism of Emperor Tomato Ketchup is that you won't come away humming any of these tunes, with the exception of The Noise of Carpet. The songs tend to blend together and blur.
It was great to revisit this, I have just spent the weekedn revisiting Stereolab's back catalogue. Superb!
A simply gorgeous album.
I'm really digging Metronomic Underground.
On first blush, this should have been a no for me, dawg. But it wasn't. Stereolab manages to take a genre known for repetitive noise and turn it into an interesting and enjoyable experience. Is it all amazing? No, it's not. There are definitely some bits that are a bit twee but not enough to tank the record. "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" (that's gotta be a translation error, right?) was a pleasant surprise.
Stereolab is very hard to categorize. They simultaneously anticipate sounds that would dominate in the following years, yet do so by using sounds from the past across all genres. This album contains sounds that would become popular a decade later and sounds that are familiar and well worn. However, the only drawback to this album is its length.
Somehow I had never heard of Stereolab before. I’m not sure how that was because I simply loved this album. It gave me 18th Street Lounge vibes without the Friday night cover charge. I loved the music from every single track and thought that the vocals were exceptional without being distracting. I’m really not sure how I have gone this long and never heard it before, but I’ll be coming back for more!
Crazy album, but I liked it. First song was amazing and carried the album. I will definitely be listening to more of them. Fun find.
Really enjoyed this album. I don't really know Stereolab very well at all but this was a very pleasant surprise
I really liked this electronic, laid back, relaxed but engaging album. I would listen again. 4/5, to be honest I enjoyed the insistence of a lot of the instrumental lines, but I think many could view it as repetitive. I thought this was creative, fresh, fun, and compelling. Super nice recommendation, I’ve never heard of this band before and was pleasantly surprised.
I've always thought that I _should_ like Stereolab, and I have checked in on some of their records in the past, but hadn't found the album that really grabbed me. And then i heard this. This is the shit. A mixture of krautrock, 60s French girl pop (having a French girl singer helps heighten that impression, but it is not a lazy comparison; they really sound like that), which inflections of jazz, easy listening, funk and the Velvet Underground. This is the record I have been always been wanting from Stereolab. And I finally found it! yes, yes, yes. I knew this project would be worthwhile.
When I was 15 or 16 I went to an older guy's apartment to get some weed and I remember this album was playing as we made chit chat. Not the typical classic rock I had come to expect in the situation but a great soundtrack for a stoned mind to get lost in with all the loops and layers and mellow vibes. He was probably a real cool dude but I had to be on my way.
Stereolab are a weird concoction. like sticking cola bottles on a pizza. Doesn't need to be done. no one wants it.
Emperor they say... Pfffttt.... more like Concubine Tomato Paste. This was not my bag man. I have a big bag but this does not fit into my bag. Maybe if my bag had a little pocket on the outside I could slide this in. IN that case I would probably barely know it feel out when I was climbing that tree. I would just fill that pocket with something else that is not my bag. I did finish this. and was underwhelmed. I give it two junior mints
"To be unique was more important than to be good", the words of the band's main songwriter. Probably explains why I'm not that into it although I can recognise the innovation. I like the fact that they have a very specific vision for their music and are quite fiercely independent with political sensibilities in their lyrics. But ultimately just not that into the music. 5/10
First song was quite enjoyable. Gets you shaking your hips. 2nd tune was a little tired and I worried they front ended the good stuff and the list of goodies would, unlike my Sunday morning coffee, be short. Was I being too judgemental on a Sunday morning? Track 3 said "yes" as the album returned to form. Noise of Carpet briefly changed the tone of the album in a positive way. But overall the album was inconsistent and more off than on. There are a few goodies to mix in a playlist but overall the album had one thing in common with my Sunday coffee: not strong enough.
// Favs: Cybele's Reverie / OLV 26 Score: Strong 2
I don’t mind the occasional French bop but about 4 songs in I was ready to turn it off and I probably won’t listen again.
Get out of here
Annoying french electro pop
Really helped paved the way for indietronica to be a thing
c'es l'avenir! fav track: percolator
Otro de esos álbumes (como el de Saint Etienne que salió por acá) que tienen todo lo que me gusta. Sonidos de variada procedencia, a caballo entre lo experimental, lo pop, con buenas letras, a veces hasta inteligibles. De acá escucho cosas como lo que después sonaría Broken Social Scene, entre varios en quiénes pensar. Favs: el inicio y el final ("Metronomic Underground" y "Anonymous Collective"), "Cybele's Reverie", "Olv 26". Sin embargo, no skips. 10/10
Esta muy chingon todo este viaje de sonidos que nos lleva este pedo
starkes Album. geiler Sound, wie cleane und etwas ernstere Stereo Total
Love the vocals and groovy funky instruments
I really liked this one! Groovy and it had some interesting musicality in it. :)
good for focus- upbeat fun
I just love this band, they have such a friendly sound that's so iconic and instantly recognizable. One of a handful of bands that I first heard by randomly pulling their CD at the library, then felt like I discovered a secret that no one else knew. At least my friends had not heard them at the time. I don't know their discography well enough to know how this stacks up, but it's certainly on par with the stuff I've heard, and seeing as this is likely their only album on the list, it's a solid 5-star for me.
I like it a lot
Love Sterolab and it was a pleasure to sit down with this one again.
Gave me some serious existential Tuesday think and loved every minute of it.
Stereolab is always great
What a Sunday Lego session soundtrack. Couldn't have picked anything more suitable. A real find and I will listen to this again. Thanks 1001! A little gem for the time invested.
Love Stereolab! They definitely have a recognizable sound and sometimes their songs can start to sound alike but it doesnt bother me because theyre all bangers
"Emperor Tomato Ketchup" is the fourth studio album by English-French band Stereolab (although they also had complilation albums and singles released). The album was named after a 1971 experimental film by Shūji Terayama. You can categorize this as experimental pop-rock. On this album, they experimented with composing songs around loops as opposed to riffs; the keyboards definitely are forefront here. A lot of the songs start simple and build with layers of vocals and keyboards. The layered vocals of Lætitia Sadier and Mary Hansen are highlights. This is an outstanding album and one of my favorite in that mid-90's time frame. There is a scratching-sound start to "Metronomic Underground" which continues throughout as a loop. The rhythm is almost groovy. The layered vocals. Criticizing war. Strings start "Cybele's Reverie" but this is a more straight-forward rock-pop song. Happy sounding with the guitar. The loss of innocence and wonder from childhood. A classic keyboard-bass loop and chorus drive "Percolator." Maybe, the one Sterolab loop I can't get out of my head once I hear it. I liked the way in the first four songs, the English-named songs are sung in French and the one French-named song is sung in English. My favorite song on the album "The Noise of Carpet" starts rockin' with the distorted guitar. More straight-forward pop-rock. The layered vocals are excellent. Weird keyboards noises. Trying to provide hope to a cynical person. "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" kind of reminds me of a mix between a Talking Heads and Wilco song. Repetitive and drving rhythm. Weird synth noises effective again. They go into baroque pop territory on "Slow Fast Hazel" with the strings. Beats change. A beautiful sounding song. Perhaps going into some Marxism here with the lyrics. I like most of the Sterolab I've heard. This album is at the top for sure. Worth a listen for everyone.
Fantasy damn album. My goodness. Art.
When I first heard Stereolab, I was instantly hooked. They're like nothing I had heard but they've had plenty of influence since.
Really liked the layering of this project. There’s a lot going on and it all meshes really nicely, sick alb
Cool vibes, liked it more than I expected. Great background music.
Have loved it since it came out.
I do love Stereolab, but this is not my favourite album (Refried Ectoplasm for those taking score). Still, Metronomic Underground is a classic!
Heard of but never heard, but I dug it
I thought this was a different band! Stereogum maybe? Pleasantly surprised - drum machines!
Hell yeah, some good 90s electro funk. They are unique in their harmonizing/singing.
That was a lot of fun
Everything I expected from stereolab, instrumental electronica, I like it, specially the few vocal segments
Post-rock, eh? I’m here for it.
Pop-Rock alternativo bastante curioso.
Great. Never got round to listening to this before
i really liked this, there are some weaker tracks that i think could've been cut though.
Stereolab form part of the holy trinity of my favourite bands beginning with the letter S (alongside Sonic Youth and Sebadoh for anyone who’s interested). It’s therefore quite hard to review this one objectively as I know it so well. It’s not my favourite Stereolab album though (that’s probably Dots and Loops) so I’ll give it 4 stars.
I enjoyed this. Great music to cook to. Found each track noticeably different. Will listen again. Starting to wish we could mark out of 10 or give half points though.
Ik kende dit alleen van naam, maar het was een aangename verrassing.
European electronic burbling. Best tracks: Metronomic Underground, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Motoroller Scalatron.
Really enjoyed this one. Second half of the album falls off a little but still pretty solid album. Lots of vocal looping, which can be pretty tiresome but its done well here. I give it a Certified Bop™
Ooooootro grupo que no conocía peor todo ok porque me gustó el mood, a ratos como que la voz me recordó a Dolores O’Riordan
Pretty chill, interesting, kinda groovy album that reminded me of Broken Social Scene at times
Love this album.
Obviously, I can't assess the lyrical content, with it being mostly in French, but I like the groove
Reminds me heavily of artists such as Beck, because this album is in the same genre of music. The instrumentation is odd, but nothing too overwhelming. An easy album to sit back and listen to on any given occasion.
Very chill and calm, and also feels very warm.
It's weird how sometimes I really like this style of music and sometimes it feels like a waste of time. I enjoyed this album but not really sure why. Cool mix of electronic music and lounge. Creative and fun. Loses a little steam in the 2nd half but still fine.