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

Emperor Tomato Ketchup

Stereolab

1996

Emperor Tomato Ketchup

Album Summary

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

Rating

3.04

Votes

4758

Genres

  • Rock
  • Indie
Reviews
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View Author
Wed Feb 09 2022
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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Tue May 11 2021
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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Mon Feb 01 2021
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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Fri Oct 01 2021
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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Tue Feb 02 2021
2

Bit boring

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Wed Jan 20 2021
2

Not my type of music

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Tue May 11 2021
2

Not one I will be rushing back to.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
2

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

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Fri Oct 01 2021
2

Meh. Not for me.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

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

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Thu Dec 02 2021
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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Thu Dec 02 2021
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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Fri Mar 26 2021
2

Kinda weird, psychedelics

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Thu Sep 30 2021
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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Thu Oct 08 2020
1

Alternativt, repetetivt, soundtrack-agtig

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Fucking loved this shit. I cant explain why.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
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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Thu Dec 02 2021
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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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

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

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Fri Mar 18 2022
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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Tue May 25 2021
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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Thu Mar 04 2021
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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Wed Jan 27 2021
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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Sun Feb 21 2021
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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Fri Feb 12 2021
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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Thu Apr 08 2021
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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Tue Mar 30 2021
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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Sat Jul 03 2021
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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Mon Apr 26 2021
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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Tue May 11 2021
4

‘What’s society built on?’ This is

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Tue Jun 08 2021
4

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

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Mon Aug 02 2021
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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Sat Aug 21 2021
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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Mon Aug 23 2021
4

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

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

A simply gorgeous album.

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Thu Dec 30 2021
4

I'm really digging Metronomic Underground.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
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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Mon Jan 10 2022
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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Wed Jan 12 2022
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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Sun Jan 23 2022
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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Wed Feb 09 2022
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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Thu Mar 10 2022
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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Fri Mar 11 2022
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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Fri Mar 25 2022
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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Tue Mar 02 2021
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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Thu Mar 11 2021
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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Sat Jan 30 2021
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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Mon Feb 22 2021
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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Sun May 30 2021
2

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

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Tue May 11 2021
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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Fri Jun 18 2021
1

Get out of here

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Thu Mar 04 2021
1

Annoying french electro pop

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Really helped paved the way for indietronica to be a thing

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

c'es l'avenir! fav track: percolator

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Mon Apr 12 2021
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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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

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

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Fri May 07 2021
5

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

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Sat May 29 2021
5

Love the vocals and groovy funky instruments

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Mon Jul 12 2021
5

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

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Wed Sep 01 2021
5

Love Stereolab.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

good for focus- upbeat fun

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Fri Mar 25 2022
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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Wed May 11 2022
5

Superb

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

I like it a lot

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

Love Sterolab and it was a pleasure to sit down with this one again.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

Gave me some serious existential Tuesday think and loved every minute of it.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

Stereolab is always great

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Sun Nov 13 2022
5

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.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

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

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Thu Oct 01 2020
4

Listened before

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Mon Jul 12 2021
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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Wed Jan 06 2021
4

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

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Sat May 08 2021
4

Have loved it since it came out.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
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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Wed May 05 2021
4

Heard of but never heard, but I dug it

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

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

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Thu Apr 15 2021
4

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

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Tue Feb 02 2021
4

That was a lot of fun

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Tue Mar 02 2021
4

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

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

Post-rock, eh? I’m here for it.

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

Pop-Rock alternativo bastante curioso.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
4

Great. Never got round to listening to this before

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

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

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Wed Jan 27 2021
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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Sat Jan 30 2021
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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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

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

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

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

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Tue Feb 16 2021
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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Mon Apr 12 2021
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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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Как хиппи

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Sun May 02 2021
4

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

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

Love this album.

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Tue May 25 2021
4

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

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Mon May 31 2021
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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Wed Aug 04 2021
4

Very chill and calm, and also feels very warm.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
4

pretty guud

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Mon Oct 11 2021
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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Thu Jan 13 2022
4

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

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Fri Jan 14 2022
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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Mon Feb 07 2022
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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Wed Feb 09 2022
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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Sun Feb 13 2022
4

A very enjoyable listening experience

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Fri Mar 25 2022
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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Thu Mar 31 2022
4

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

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Wed Apr 13 2022
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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Thu Apr 14 2022
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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Thu Jun 02 2022
4

I thought this album was really neat. The French influence on the music and lyrics makes it very distinctive 4/5

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Sun Jul 10 2022
4

It gives me a feeling which is similar to but distinct from nostalgia. Like it's reminding me of something I didn't actually experience. As music, it's good. As an experience, its a lucid dream. Highlights: Spark Plug, Olv 26, Motoroller Scalatron.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

4.0 + Maybe more of an interesting record in theory than in execution. I remember reading a Pitchfork review a few years ago and being taken by the heady ideas cited - the references to Japanese sci-fi films, Marxist revolution, and "dialectics you could dance to." But returning to it after several years, I'm just not getting that same buzz. That wop-wop synth sound on "Percolator" grates on my nerves and "Metronomic Underground" is annoyingly repetitive. But there's still a lot I still love (e.g. the title track, "Les Yper Sound") and it generally provides a chic, hyper-mod backdrop for a party.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
4

This album is a blast. Locks into a steady groove with the opening track and just rides that groove through every song. Just put it on and let it seep into your sub concsiousness. 4.5 stars

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Striking combination of retro cadences and modern (at least for 1996) electronic sounds; like a funkier Air? Worth another listen at some point.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
4

good shit 8/10

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

Really quality blend of genres and moods. Every track stand on its own quite well.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
4

What a delight!

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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

Better than awesome. The definition of a pleasant surprise. I suspect I heard some of this during the late '90's and wish I would have sought it out further at the time. Better late than never!

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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

Really fun tracks with driving rhythms and catchy melodies. The lyrics sometimes have a strange misalignment with the melodic structure that gives them a sort of mechanistic distance, adding to the futuristic feel of the songs. Really liked these overall.

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Wed Sep 30 2020
3

Post-rock

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Thu Apr 01 2021
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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Tue Feb 02 2021
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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Sun Mar 07 2021
3

Like it alot

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Sat Mar 06 2021
3

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

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Mon Apr 19 2021
3

Nice to listen to while working

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Tue Mar 02 2021
3

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

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Tue Feb 02 2021
3

Spark Plug

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Wed Jan 27 2021
3

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

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Thu Mar 04 2021
3

More fun in the beginning than the end.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
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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Mon Jun 07 2021
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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Tue Feb 02 2021
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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Tue Mar 02 2021
3

Algo repetitivo, aunque las voces estuvieron genialess

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Mon Feb 22 2021
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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Wed Apr 28 2021
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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Mon Feb 22 2021
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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Mon Apr 12 2021
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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Sun Feb 21 2021
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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Tue Mar 02 2021
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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Thu Apr 08 2021
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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Sun Feb 21 2021
3

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

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Thu Mar 11 2021
3

Great fun.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
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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Mon Jun 14 2021
3

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

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Sat Jan 30 2021
3

Enjoyed. Fun vibe and like the French influence.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
3

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

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Thu Mar 18 2021
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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Sun May 02 2021
3

French ass Broken Social Scene.

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Fri May 28 2021
3

Pseee, muy espacial para mi gusto

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Sun May 09 2021
3

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

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Wed May 19 2021
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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Thu May 13 2021
3

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

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Sat Aug 21 2021
3

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

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Fri Aug 27 2021
3

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

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Fri Oct 01 2021
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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Fri Oct 01 2021
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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Wed Oct 06 2021
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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Wed Oct 27 2021
3

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

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Mon Nov 01 2021
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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Mon Nov 01 2021
3

3.2

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Mon Nov 08 2021
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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Wed Nov 10 2021
3

stereoo

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Fri Nov 12 2021
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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Sat Aug 07 2021
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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Fri Dec 10 2021
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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Wed Jan 12 2022
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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Fri Jan 14 2022
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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Fri Jan 14 2022
3

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

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Sun Jan 23 2022
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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Thu Feb 03 2022
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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Sat Feb 05 2022
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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Sun Feb 13 2022
3

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

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Wed Feb 16 2022
3

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

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Wed Mar 02 2022
3

It was alright. Inoffensive. Bit like a more dancy Belle and Sebastian. Good music for working to

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Wed Mar 02 2022
3

Great background music

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Thu Mar 03 2022
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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Fri Mar 18 2022
3

3.5

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Fri Mar 25 2022
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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Wed Mar 30 2022
3

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

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Thu Mar 31 2022
3

Fun to listen to!

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Tue Apr 05 2022
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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Wed Apr 20 2022
3

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

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Thu Apr 28 2022
3

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

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Thu May 05 2022
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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Wed May 11 2022
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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Fri May 20 2022
3

Great techno feel.

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Sun May 22 2022
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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Sun May 22 2022
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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Sun Jul 10 2022
3

Interesting without being great

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Wed Jul 13 2022
3

What an entirely unique confluence of musical and production elements. I can't say I'll be coming back to this album over and over again, but it was fun to be introduced to.

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Sun Jul 17 2022
3

On first listen, I thought it was pretty boring and insignificant. But, as the day went on and I heard it more, I started really enjoying it. It isn't anything fantastic or amazing, but it is like the music version of comfort food. 3/5

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Wed Jul 20 2022
3

I once bumped into into a pregnant prostitute who accused me of trying to touch her unborn baby. I remember Stereolab was blaring out in the background. I was questioned by the police, who eventually realised there was no case to answer, but fuck me, it was a stressful afternoon. The funny thing is though, I did actually have a grope.

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Wed Jul 20 2022
3

je suis un fromage frais. le petit pois sont dans la banque. ooh ah cantonaaaaa! Je donne des coups de pied aux oiseaux i enjoyed singing along to these.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

Its pretty much similar to all Stereolab but it trundles along quite nicely

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Wed Jul 27 2022
3

It was something. Not too bad, actually quite relaxing as I dozed off in my chair while listening. Definitely not something I would go out of my way to listen too.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
3

The music is quite good, singing style reminds me a bit of the Coraline soundtrack. But....it's not really memorable

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Sun Jul 31 2022
3

Another band heard of but never knew what they were about. Turns out partly French.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
3

A mix of indie, pop, techno sounds. Some of the songs are in French. A very interesting & different listening experience, enjoyed most of the ride.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
3

Stereolab has always just felt like bland, watered down krautrock to me. It's not bad per se, it just lacks the adventurous spirit of krautrock - rather than going on a journey, you're going on a theme park replica of that journey.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
3

A pleasant listen. Nothing bad on it. One of my favorite songs, The Noise of Carpet, is here.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
3

Enjoyed a previous album - the one with the magnificent Ping Pong - so was pleased to hear a similar sound, but more attention to more succinct conventional indie songs. An interesting mid 90s sound against the prevalent Brit pop, trip hop, grunge and angsty rock of the era. Not quite a 4, but good.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
3

Not that good, not that bad.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
3

Quite like it - will listen again and to other albums by them

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