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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Emperor Tomato Ketchup

Stereolab

1996

Wikipedia

Emperor Tomato Ketchup

Rating

3.03

Votes

3329

Reviews

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2

Eclectic without much substance, it wasn't unpleasant to listen to, and I do like French music, but overall just eh.

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5

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!

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4

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,

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4

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.

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2

Bit boring

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2

Not my type of music

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2

Not one I will be rushing back to.

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2

Ehhh....it wasn't terrible, but it didn't do much for me. Lazy review today. 2.

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2

Meh. Not for me.

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4

The sound of living in a city inside a French synthesizer. Surprisingly good stuff throughout.

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4

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!

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4

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.

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2

Kinda weird, psychedelics

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2

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.

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1

Alternativt, repetetivt, soundtrack-agtig

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5

Fucking loved this shit. I cant explain why.

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5

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!

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5

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.

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5

I loved it, can't really say why, it was so varied and kind of beautiful

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4

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.

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4

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?

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4

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.

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4

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.

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4

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.

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4

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.

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4

Amazing how much of a wholly unique and incredible album this is. Just wonderful, not much else I can say.

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4

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.

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4

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.

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4

‘What’s society built on?’ This is

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4

Promisingly funky off the bat. Track 2 is a happy bop. Definitely digging this, would jam again.

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4

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.

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4

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.

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4

It was great to revisit this, I have just spent the weekedn revisiting Stereolab's back catalogue. Superb!

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4

A simply gorgeous album.

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4

I'm really digging Metronomic Underground.

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4

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.

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4

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.

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4

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!

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4

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.

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4

Really enjoyed this album. I don't really know Stereolab very well at all but this was a very pleasant surprise

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4

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.

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4

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.

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2

Stereolab are a weird concoction. like sticking cola bottles on a pizza. Doesn't need to be done. no one wants it.

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2

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

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2

"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

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2

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.

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2

// Favs: Cybele's Reverie / OLV 26 Score: Strong 2

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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.

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1

Get out of here

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1

Annoying french electro pop

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5

Really helped paved the way for indietronica to be a thing

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5

c'es l'avenir! fav track: percolator

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5

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

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5

Esta muy chingon todo este viaje de sonidos que nos lleva este pedo

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5

starkes Album. geiler Sound, wie cleane und etwas ernstere Stereo Total

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5

Love the vocals and groovy funky instruments

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5

I really liked this one! Groovy and it had some interesting musicality in it. :)

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5

Love Stereolab.

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5

good for focus- upbeat fun

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5

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...

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5

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.

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5

Superb

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4

Listened before

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4

Really liked the layering of this project. There’s a lot going on and it all meshes really nicely, sick alb

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4

Cool vibes, liked it more than I expected. Great background music.

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4

Have loved it since it came out.

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4

I do love Stereolab, but this is not my favourite album (Refried Ectoplasm for those taking score). Still, Metronomic Underground is a classic!

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4

Heard of but never heard, but I dug it

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4

I thought this was a different band! Stereogum maybe? Pleasantly surprised - drum machines!

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4

Hell yeah, some good 90s electro funk. They are unique in their harmonizing/singing.

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4

That was a lot of fun

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4

Everything I expected from stereolab, instrumental electronica, I like it, specially the few vocal segments

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4

Post-rock, eh? I’m here for it.

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4

Pop-Rock alternativo bastante curioso.

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4

Great. Never got round to listening to this before

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4

i really liked this, there are some weaker tracks that i think could've been cut though.

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4

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.

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4

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.

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4

Ik kende dit alleen van naam, maar het was een aangename verrassing.

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4

European electronic burbling. Best tracks: Metronomic Underground, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Motoroller Scalatron.

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4

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™

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4

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

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4

Как хиппи

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4

Pretty chill, interesting, kinda groovy album that reminded me of Broken Social Scene at times

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4

Love this album.

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4

Obviously, I can't assess the lyrical content, with it being mostly in French, but I like the groove

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4

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.

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4

Very chill and calm, and also feels very warm.

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4

pretty guud

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4

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.

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4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Metronomic underground, Slow fast hazel

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4

Ah yes, Emperor Tomato Ketchup. Lead singer’s voice is way more in tune than it ever seems to be live.

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4

I don't really know what I was expecting prior to listening to this album, but I did like it. It was a nice surprise, I guess you could say. Although I didn't enjoy all of the tracks, I think I'll be revisiting a few in the future. My favourite has to be Motoroller Scalatron.

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4

Love a bit of Stereolab, knew quite a few of these but great to listen to an album in full. Fun!

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4

A very enjoyable listening experience

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4

Tasty jams, Krautrock-like progressions, and I like French when it's sung as well, so this ticks a lot of boxes. I knew the name but never what they sounded like.

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4

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.

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4

Good background music this, perfect to listen to whilst working away.

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4

This would not normally be my cup of tea. Man did I like this though. This is some excellent Europop alternative. Enough real instruments here to work with the dance beats. The production is stellar and I loved the levels here.

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4

I had heard of this band but I had never listened to them... that was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed this album.

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3

Post-rock

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3

En sjov sammenblanding af genre. Lidt funket, lidt elektronisk, lidt pop og underlige tekster. Et specielt album, som har nogle fængende numre men kræver nok noget mere seriøs lytning 3.5

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3

Weird name but not a weird album. Surprisingly decent as some background music. The perfect example of a 3 star album

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3

Like it alot

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3

Cool tracks. Good use of electronics with instruments. Nothing bad but nothing amazing either

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3

Nice to listen to while working

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3

Hard to rate this one. Really unsure if I like it or not. Interesting stuff nonetheless.

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3

Spark Plug

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3

It's good background music, but not something I’d sit and listen to specifically for the listening experience.

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3

More fun in the beginning than the end.

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3

Interesting. I’ve never listened to this band, but recently learned David Pajo from Slint played with them at one point, so they were on the To Do list. Really like the 2nd track and some of the other French tunes, but this thing is kind of all over the place and ends with a fizzle. I do not like their graphic design. I do not like the title. The whole presentation here is hard to pin down. But not terrible! I’d listen to more.

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3

This was a fun record. Not really sure what it was though! Interesting cross-genre vibes from the mid-90s.

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3

Avant Garde pop..I enjoyed it. Original and probably part of that early 90s movement towards the indie sounds prevalent today. A little too long of an album but I liked it!

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3

Algo repetitivo, aunque las voces estuvieron genialess

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3

If Krautrock and fringe rock had a baby it would be Stereolab. Most of the hipster indie groups today were influenced by Stereolab in some form, whether they realize it or not. Love the pulsating beat of Les Yper sound, tres chic

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3

Motorik beats, squelchy sounds, a kind of Francophone cool pervades - it's studied, chic and quite fun in small doses, but after a while washes over you somewhat. Not bad, not brilliant.

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3

I thought I knew this outfit but I was getting them mixed up with Stereo MCs. Very Low Fi, I like the move back n' forth from English to French. Definitely grows on you. Some good tracks - a Velvet Underground influence, not too crazy about the Nico-sounding vocals on some. I'm sure I'd give it a higher score next year.

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3

Creo que no digeo este disco. O sea está chido el eclecticismo pop-bossanovaish-rocky altenativo, etc. Pero sentí que escuché una hora de la misma canción. Mood: cuando das muchas vueltas de niño para marearte.

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3

It definitely grew on me. Or maybe the first song was just trash. The songs felt very internally repetitive, but there was variety between the songs. Seriously considered giving it a 4

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3

Quite nice and pleasant. Enjoy the french language singing. A bit like Saint Etienne. Doesn't sound particularly exciting or innovative today. Enjoyable overall.

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3

Starts off great. Really decent poppy indie dance. Will give them the benefit of the doubt and presume they are french and not just pretentious. Tails off a little at the beginning of the second half then comes back strong with the title track, then goes a little electronic for my taste. Not an unpleasant listen but probably not something I'd seek out again. 3/5

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3

Bit samey, didn't love anything in particular. Nice beats

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3

Great fun.

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3

Thought I wasn’t gonna enjoy it. But I did. Will listen again, when trying to look a bit fancy around some muso’s.

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3

Wel aardig, maar ook wel erg dromerig en daarom wat slaapverwekken.d

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3

Enjoyed. Fun vibe and like the French influence.

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3

Meh, I like the electronica, but this didn't impress me.

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3

Overall solid but not captivating. I was familiar with the first track and like it. The rest was of a similar vein but more fully explored their unique sound, in both good and bad directions.

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3

French ass Broken Social Scene.

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3

Pseee, muy espacial para mi gusto

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3

Really liked the bass lines and instrumentation. Repetitive and surprised by the French vocals

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3

Can't say I've really heard anything like this. It's a little hard to get into, but I appreciate how unique/innovative it is.

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3

Very French sounding. Ahead of it's time I guess.

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3

Great name, music didn't do so much for me

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3

Svårt. Rätt goa bitar men lite för konstigt emellanåt och lite för långt album.

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3

This was a fun album but nothing that blew my mind. I wasn't crazy about the vocals the first time listening but they grew on me the second time around. Not really much more to say about this. Average.

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3

Not bad. Not quite for me either but they have a cool sound. I liked the combination of pulsing guitar and other instruments on OLV 26 and Anonymous Collective. I guess that's kind of their thing but I thought it worked really well on those tracks. That overlay motif was okay on Metronomic Underground but what I liked more about that track was its funk sound (which they get back to in a so-so way on Spark Plug). They mix up their styles quite a bit (first 3 tracks differ widely), which shows some chops but also makes the album less seamless. Sadier has a voice that is sometimes sweet and fits their style and is sometimes grating. I found it off-putting on the Noise of Carpet and Tomorrow is Already Here. It worked well on Les Yper Sound. The title track and Motoroller Scalatron are fun. I'd say a cool, uneven album. It did get better with each listen.

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3

Decent album. It felt a little experimental, like it couldn't decide if it was going to be trance or pop or new punk. At the end of all that, it was slightly too messy for me. Still a 3 star album.

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3

Cool. Liked it then; like it now. Ground breaking? Nah.

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3

This was a really weird one in a neither particularly good nor particularly bad way. I guess it was an interesting experience to hear this really strange genre mashup. But I feel the execution could have been a lot better.

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3

3.2

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3

Some of the tracks were interesting to me and kept my attention. This album is at times hypnotic, e.g., 'Tomorrow Is Already Here,' 'Monster Sacre,' and 'Anonymous Collective.' And although I can speak only a dozen words or so, if that, I do love the sound of the French language, so as pure aural pleasure I loved it when she sang or spoke in French. If someone described this album to me, I don't think I would listen to it. Kudos again to this project.

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3

stereoo

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3

Stereolab shoot a course for the sun and get at least half the way there by way of trial-and-error, sustained jamming (ignoring the dodgy album art circa Windows 95). Musically, all of the songs are built upon sketches- a couple of bars looped, a drum beat, a bassline- specially selected, extended out, and dressed up with layers of experiments woven in and out. This approach works to Sterolab’s credit for much of the album. “Metronomic Underground” is a hypnotic opener in its simplicity. Two overlapping bass parts and a recurring three word lyric (“crazy- sturdy- torpedo”) take the lead as the song builds in intensity to a dramatic climax. However, the jams were also a weakness as I found myself longing for a tighter focus, less meandering. The organ and guitar combo in “Tomorrow Is Already Here” is used to limited effect in an irritating staccato refrain that never really resolves anywhere. “Monstre Sacre” is some repetitive noir-noodling that didn’t seem to sit right in the pacing of the album. For all the “futuristic” appeal this seemingly had at the time, there are a lot of retro electronics even by 1996 standards. The band celebrate future sounds from the past, making use of analogue sounds like strings, organ, assorted percussion. Even the more electronic based songs tend to call back as much as forward: in “Olv 26”, the drum machine and fuzz bass recalls Suicide’s self-titled album from 20 years earlier, while “Les Yper Sound”‘s motorik beat, stuttering rhythm and waves of synth visits the Krautrock of Neu or Can. Not all the instrumentation worked for me- “Spark Plug”’s jangly rhythm guitar stuck out of place as generic indie rock material- but on the whole it seemed to strike a good balance between futuristic and nostalgic. As far as the other highlights here, there’s some fun with time signatures in some of the grooviest tracks: “Percolator”‘s insistent bass line is a bubbling of quavers over 5:4, and “Motoroller Scalatron” is propelled forward by a seven beat organ refrain. I also want to single out “The Noise of Carpet”, a chaotic desert storm. It utilises all parts to dazzling effect- more live instrumentation, and more passion and urgency applied to the vocal than across the rest of the songs. All in all, there are lots of highlights here but the ones I haven’t mentioned were fairly forgettable on first listen, and served to just add atmospherics rather than stand out as quality compositions or highlights in their own right. I can’t decide if the album is best played driving down an open road under a looming storm, or to add ambience while cooking up a stew. So I’ll suggest both at once for the best effect.

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3

Eclectic. The first song on the album, and the most played, is definitely the worst. If you can make it through that one, the album gets quite a bit better. Probably gets better again if you're tripping on some kind of substance - but I wouldn't know. It's fine. Average. 3 stars.

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3

Some of these songs reminded me of Megan Draper singing Zoobie Zoobie Zoo in that one episode of Mad Men. Most of them were pretty good though. 3 stars.

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3

The best of this album IMO: - Percolator - The Noise of Carpet Unique sound. Goes on the weird side. It's entertaining and interesting. Main voice melodies are a bit basic, not very creative. French fits well with the style, alors c'est bien. Music can unfortunately be repetitive despite its uniqueness. 3.1/5

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3

Sort of like a mix between Metric and Flaming Lips, half in French. Tracks vary in how interesting they are, but worth a listen.

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3

Groooovy. Better than expected, but nothing too much jumped out. *Old Lungs

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3

Really liked the first few songs, but felt like it fell off in the second half. Very weird album…. Yet surprisingly enjoyable? I added “metronomic underground”, “OLB 27”, and “Motoroller Scalatron” to my headphones playlist.

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3

This was good for background noise while I was working on some stuff today. Lots of looping/repetition but that made it good "working" music.

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3

Fun album to listen to as background music while working. I'm not a fan of indie/eletronic/french music, but this surprised me. Favorite tracks: * Percolator * The Noise of Carpet * Metronomic Underground is also good, although too long and repetitive

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3

Interesting. Background music that draws you in. Turns out it's very likeable.

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3

There’s room for this in the rotation. Also I think Percolator influenced Radiohead’s 15 Step.

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3

Great background music

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3

A slice of 90s psychedelic indie, doesn't really have any standout bangers that grab you, but I'd happily put it on again while I'm working or cooking or something.

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3

3.5

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3

Eclectic. Interesting. I don't know if I liked it. There were some tracks I would come back to, but as a whole? Maybe I'll try that again sometime in the distant future. Maybe.

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3

Mélange de son intéressant mais je suis pas sûr de vraiment avoir trippé.

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3

Fun to listen to!

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3

I can’t say that I think I will ever revisit this thing after the review but there are some really interesting bits: Just before I start the track by track I have to say this artwork is dreadful! The album starts off with metronomic underground is alright but at 7 mins it takes quite a while to get going and by the end I never wanna hear anyone say “crazy sturdy a torpedo” again. Like literally! There’s only 4 lines in that aren’t “crazy sturdy a torpedo” or some kinda variation in the first song. Cybele’s reverie is definitely the best song just a fun sounding french pop song with pretty cool strings, and while repetitive a good bridge! Percolator sounds like some weird spy theme in my head It’s alright. Les yper-Sound I don’t like the singing on this one ( but luckily there’s not much) this bands french song’s are just better. I know i’am contradicting myself here but spark plug is actually quite good for an English sung track it’s probably more annoying instrumentally. Olv 26 takes a bit long to start but the song itself is alright even though the razor like sounds at the end are a bit odd. The noise of the carpet is more my kinda song very rock but I must say the English singing is still a bit annoying. Tomorrow is already here is repetitive and the singing is a annoying but musically it’s a favourite. Emperor tomato ketchup is alright not really a stand out for me the intro drags a little bit longer then i hoped as well. Monstre sacre is haunting sounds like some weird chant to me it’s hard to hear the lyrics which I don’t mind. Motoroller Scalatron would be good without the singing or the laser-y sounds still it’s alright ( it’s also very repetitive). So many of these songs have good lyrics but the way her voice sounds i’am just not a fan especially on slow fast hazel but it’s still one of the better songs I really like the chorus and the instrumental bit. Anonymous collective is so repetitive but it makes a good ending to the album. Overall it’s a very entertaining listen that I would recommend for someone to try at least once, but it feels way too long, the singing is a bit annoying and lyrics are repetitive.

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3

I wanted to like it more but found it a bit bland after the first few tracks.

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3

Funky songs. Again nothing stood out but I’d listen again while reading or relaxing.

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3

On the paper, I can get that many people find this Stereolab album charming. On the paper, that is. Because as adventurous as this record can be in its best moments, I however can't help feeling that the overall listening experience it has to offer is just a little too disjointed and pointless to this particular set of ears. Bleeps and bloops are always fun. But you need more than those sorts of playful sonic asides to build an album that goes beyond the usual "exercice de style". "Metronomic Underground" is a nice opener, for instance. But essentially, it is only Can's "You Doo Right" with scratches and a few tweaks here and there, instead of a true build-up to ecstasy. When does a piece of music end up being a smart hommage to the past and when does it start becoming a quite stale reproduction of it instead? It's a tricky question. Besides, many tracks in this collection seem a little too *nice* and innocuous to me anyway. I sometimes wonder if being French plays a part in this partial reluctance of mine here. It's not that Laetitia Sadier's lyrics in that language are bad (they're at least not worse than the ones in English). But it's as if understanding those words right away somehow kills a bit of the mystery some non-native French speakers see in them. Or at least that's the way I'm trying to explain the rave reviews for *Emperor Ketchup Tomato* in the English press at the time. Make no mistake, the subtly grinding motorik rythms of "Les Yper Sound" are somehow addictive, the lush layers of "OLV 26" are weaving a quite evocative soundscape, and the way "Tomorrow Is Already Here"'s guitars are bouncing and complementing each other from one headphone to the next is just fascinating and hypnotic (not to mention those marimbas !). Same with the voices in "Cybele's Reverie". Or the mesmerizing (and darker) qualities of closer "Anonymous Collective" (ending all too soon, unfortunately). But as successful as those oneiric forays are, other cuts clearly overstay their initial welcome, like the *Time Out* 5-beats trope--overplayed to death--in "Percolator". Or the mock-garage-indie-whateverness of "The Noise Of Carpet". Or the endless circles of the electro loops in the title track, leading to nowhere in particular. Not to mention quite a few others here and there... The thing is, when it comes to tongue-in-cheek pop experimentation fronted by a female yéyé mock-ingénue singing over a soundtrack filled with retro-future winks to the sixties, I think I'll always have a soft spot for Broadcast instead of Stereolab. Maybe in comparison the latter are just missing out on the necessary tension and/or melancholy to make the whole thing emotionally rewarding. But maybe that's just me and how I like my ketchup: with more acidic pickles, bittersweet ginger, and a far more *obvious* and substantial slice of spleen, right in the middle of my dish. Sugar ain't enough sometimes, even when sprinkled over a big juicy sonic tomato. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 917 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 43 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 23 (including this one) Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 19

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3

In the first song, I thought that it will be another annoying electronic music album with the same song for 1 hour. However, after this annoying introduction, all the other songs are pretty good. Some indie pop mixed with rock and hip-hop which is very nice to listen to. Not quintessential for me, but nice to listen during the morning!

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3

Great techno feel.

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3

Un disc inspirador. Es poden escoltar els ressons que vindrien anys després amb bandes com Au Revoir Simone. També hi ha guitarres, i una producció de mèrit interposant capes i capes per acabar donant vida a un treball interessant i en moments com els de 'Olv 26' o 'Cybelles Reverie', captivador

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3

I don't have any strong feelings about this album one way or another. It was easy to listen to and enjoy. I would listen to it again.

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2

Eh, oddball electro stuff. Way too repetitive and artsy for me. Really started to get old about halfway through. 2/5.

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2

Ei jäänyt kyllä yhtään mieleen. Ok?

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2

Ihan chilliä musaa vaikkakin ei herättänyt kummempia reaktioita

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2

More old somewhat synth stuff. Not engaging enough.

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2

life's too short

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2

Okay

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2

Thought I’d hate this after the first track but it was fine. Sounds of bands like St Etienne and Belle & Sebastian, both of which I’m not a mega fan of. Not sure I’d revisit this album.

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2

Het bleef een beetje teveel hangen op hetzelfde, er was weinig variatie en ik vond haar stem (ondanks dat het in het frans was) niet prettig.

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2

pretty chill, didn't really like the vocals

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2

Very repetitive within tracks. Some decent variety over the album, sadly it was all completely forgettable.

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2

false

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2

I don't know, some of this is fun, but it tends to just go into the background for me. And background music, it is pretty good though, so one extra star!

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2

Slog, good midsection tho

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2

Cria uma boa perspectiva de ter um ambiente legal, mas não se sustenta.

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2

I really liked the first track (“Metronomic Underground”) but lost steam on this pretty quickly. Unintelligible lyrics, tracks became kind of monotonous.

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2

Meh. I have no opinion. Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. Kind of monotonous and repetitive.

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2

There are aspects of this album I can really get behind, but there are a lot of songs that are just really annoying. Some of them feel really basic. Just not really a fan.

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2

Cute, light, good for passive listening. Didn't blow my mind.

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2

Computer music. Funky but quite boring.

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2

I'm not sure what the hell that was, but it certainly was not static, or boring. Noise of Carpet- I enjoyed this one a lot. Freestyle Dumpling was a trip. If I ever had dropped acid, I would have loved this album.

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2

Very odd

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2

Another album well past its expiration date. I guess it was fine at the time, but mostly I just find it boring.

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2

Was interesting for a while but then just got repetitive.

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2

Okay, so some of the tracks were the kind of quirky French electronics and I dig, but then other tracks were downright annoying. 2.5 stars. Rounding down because I accidentally saw Paul’s rating lol.

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2

Interesting bass. The drummer seems bored. Was not ready for whimsical French vocals

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2

Interesting but drawn-out and forgettable.

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2

All right to begin with, but then gets increasingly annoying

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2

Yea, not really my thing.

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2

I like the idea of Stereolab, I like the sound of Stereolab. But 60 mins of Stereolab is just a bit too much. Better in shorter sharper doses.

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2

Bit odd but not terrible. It would make for OK background music in parts but its probably a bit eccentric for my liking...

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2

Maybe I'm mixing up this list with a classic albums list. This might be 1 to listen to once. Cover art 1/5

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2

Enough decent grooves to get my head bopping along on a sunny day and enough individuality/invention to justify its place on the list, but probably not enough of either to compel me to come back to this. Pleasant background music: 2.5

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2

Never totally hit for me, the music is interesting but the singer's voice isn't a great fit

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2

Un style pop électro intéressant, mais une voix souvent fausse qui rend l'écoute désagréable par moment. Malgré tout, a sûrement influencé plein d'autres groupes par la suite.

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2

A bit repetitive to start out. Luckily that seems to change as the album progresses. Some nice music, but nothing that stands out as "I must listen to this before I die."

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1

Not a fan

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1

Too f. French

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1

"Cybele's Reverie" Released: 19 February 1996 "Metronomic Underground" Released: 2 December 1996

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1

Bull crap

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1

Nope.

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1

1.5

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1

Think this album was released 20 years too late, can understand why they were released from their contract due to poor album sales. In a decade of some pretty outrageous tunes, these fail to get going. But if you’d have put them in the 70’s alongside the likes of pink floyd, we’d probably be wearing emperor tomato ketchup t-shirts and talking about how brave the albums were. Overall probably wouldn’t listen again as music that sounds like I’ve dropped acid in a boulangerie is not my go to 4-5/10

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1

Quirky funky opening. First song is typical Stereolab. Groovy. Second song upbeat 60s lounge.

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1

Whacky background music.

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1

Wasn't a fan.

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1

Way too ambient for me. Maybe two songs I somewhat enjoyed

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1

Not my thing. Sound experiments and music are not the same thing to me.

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1

Always found Stereolab rather sterile sounding and unsurprisingly, this album didn't move me particularly. I sort of like the sounds they use and the voices, but the repetitive krautrock-y bits get annoying. For me, this is background music at best.

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1

The 4 stages of my listening experience: 1. Really actively dislike this. 2. Only on the third song, and ready to be done. 3. Music shouldn't be a chore to listen to. 4. Ugh!

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1

Not my thing.

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1

Ok so first of all.... this album is listed as "rock". I mean... I guess it's "rock" if your version of rock includes dance beats and 80% keyboards. Also: It's in French so again, as I've said before, it's a non-starter for me. I listened to the first song and then about 10 seconds of each additional song to make sure none were in English. Now I'm done. 1/5 stars for the purposes of the list. I'm sure some Frenchman can tell me how good it actually is but I don't care.

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1

Everything about this is wrong. The title is stupid, the album artwork is hideously offensive to the eyes, and the music is absolute crap. I hate this beyond measure.

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1

Awful

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Nice smooth music

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