Home Read Classic Album Review: Stereolab | Sound-Dust

Classic Album Review: Stereolab | Sound-Dust

The British synth-popsters' eighth album is a comparatively drab ’n’ dreary affair.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Clever, quirky and sometimes too damn silly for their own good, artsy British synth-popsters Stereolab have never been everyone’s cup of tea. But up until now, their spry lounge-pop and kitschy exuberance have usually been fun and entertaining enough to overcome their more annoying qualities.

Not this time. Sound-Dust, their eighth full-length and fourth collaboration with Chicago post-rockers like John McEntire and Jim O’Rourke, is a comparatively drab ’n’ dreary affair. It’s not that these dozen tracks are lacking in creativity — many of the melodies are suitably zippy, while Laetitia Sadier’s vocals remain as intriguingly subdued as ever. Trouble is, all the brightness and sheen usually found on Stereolab records are hidden under fuzzy layers of McEntire and O’Rourke’s deliberately artsy, lo-fi production and cluttered arrangements. Next time, more sound and less dust, please.