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Chemical Chords [CD]

Stereolab Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Aug 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B0019UUPI2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,972 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Neon Beanbag 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Three Women 3:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. One Finger Symphony 2:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Chemical Chords 5:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Ecstatic Static 4:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Valley Hi! 2:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Silver Sands 3:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Pop Molecule [Molecular Pop 1] 2:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Self Portrait With "Electric Brain" 3:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Nous Vous Demandons Pardon 4:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Cellulose Sunshine 2:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Fractal Dream Of A Thing 3:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Daisy Click Clack 3:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Vortical Phonothèque 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

BBC Review

Analogue synths, vaguely cheesecore lounge-isms, oblique wordplay (mostly in French). Yes, Stereolab are back.

The anglo-gallic pairing of Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier has long been giving us a kind of strangely platonic ideal version of alternative pop history. Theirs is a world where everyone loves the bubbly synth stylings of the late 60s, when the Moog was the size of a Welsh dresser. On this, their ninth album, Sean O'Hagan's horn and string charts signify not only Brian Wilson's zenith, but also the horny horns of Fred Wesley. Well, to be more accurate, the brainy horns. The groove doesn't really take flight. It's an intellectual excercise in white dance music.: Kinder-funk that makes Talking Heads look like the Ohio Players. What's more it detracts from the band's most endearing quality; their nursery rhyme simplicity, imbued with degree-level smarts.

But this is the paradox with the Stezzas; their meandering, repetitive ditties signify innocence and fun, but as soon as Laetitia intones those oblique, situationist lyrics the jollity seems a little arch. The whole package tends to work best if you reject the (undoubtedly bourgeois) concept of the singer as focus point and relegate her flat tones to the role of instrumentation. With this in mind it's the more varied pallette of glockenspiel, harpsichord or even wobbly guitar that leaps out. Overall making Chemical Chords a definite move away from the band's normal fare. Mind you, it has taken them eight albums and 16 years to get here.

Opener neon Beanbag (it seems almost like they're parodying their own song titles these days) tells us, ''There's nothing to be sad about'', and Daisy Click Clack (see what I mean?) intones "Clap clap clap clap all will join in/Tap tap tap tap simple rhythm'', but then ends with the typically cryptic, ''sensing the symbiotic forces''. This balance of childlike wonder and third-year thesis will always make the band a cult proposition.

Elsewhere the usual mixture of Beach Boys atmospherics (Chemical Chords) and motorik drumming is reliably on the money. Having said this The Fractal Dream Of A Thing actually manages to incorporate skew-whiff offbeats that make the terrain slightly less monotonous. On their own terms Stereolab are on stonking form here. But as many people discovered about ten years ago, how much room can you make in your life for another of their albums, when the results are nearly always the same, no matter how clever? Fans can rejoice, the rest of us can move along... --Chris Jones

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Product Description

Stereolab - Chemical Chords - cod:9758

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars warm jets! 22 Aug 2008
Format:Audio CD
This album has many of the usual stereolab hallmarks, but as usual the sound has been morphed to reflect the current obsessions of Tim Gane and lateitia sadier.I am a massive long term fan of The Lab and this album does not disappoint though it has taken a few listens to really get my head round it.It is decidely less baroque than many of their previous excursions. The sound is tighter and more direct. This feels like both a good and a bad thing.It is less langourous and abstracted. Melancholia is almost absent from this record though there is still that restless yearning that they do so well.Despite this,it is a rich and beguiling album that definitely reveals more with each listen.before long the melodies and crypto-poetic lyrics imbed themselves in your mind.There is only ONE stereolab. Long may they reign!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I have been eagerly anticipating the new Stereolab album for some time, intrigued by Tim Gane's tantalising account of the creative process that led to 'Chemical Chords'- of a batch of his own musical doodles from which the groop developed the final, fleshed out tracks in the studio. So yes, as one would expect from Stereolab, 'Chemical Chords' is a lushly orchestrated album (Sean O'Hagan's arrangements add wonderful texture, especially the strings on 'Cellulose Sinshine'), but each track bears the succinct imprint of a singular idea perfectly realised, unlike previous albums where some tracks feel like two or three condensed into one. The synergy between the musical elements makes this another Stereolab album that will continue to reward repeated listens. It's really only just beginning to sink in for me, and so far 'Daisy Click Clack','Self Portrait With Electric Brain' and 'Cellulose Sunshine' have particularly infected my musical consciousness.

The Stereolab formula is evident, but sufficiently tweaked to engage the fans- I can't imagine they will be disappointed. This is a great album, and it's certainly not bereft of candidates to add to your selection of favourite Stereolab songs. It also has an infectiously cheerful quality that might just dispel some mental rainclouds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the 16 chemical chords penetrate your brain 23 Aug 2008
Format:Audio CD
I have been eagerly anticipating the new Stereolab album for some time, intrigued by Tim Gane's tantalising account of the creative process that led to 'Chemical Chords'- of a batch of his own musical doodles from which the groop developed the final, fleshed out tracks in the studio. So yes, as one would expect from Stereolab, 'Chemical Chords' is a lushly orchestrated album (Sean O'Hagan's arrangements add wonderful texture, especially the strings on 'Cellulose Sinshine' and 'Self Portrait With Electric Brain'), but each track bears the succinct imprint of a singular idea perfectly realised, unlike previous albums where some tracks feel like two or three condensed into one. The synergy between the musical elements makes this another Stereolab album that will continue to reward repeated listens. It's really only just beginning to sink in for me, and so far 'Daisy Click Clack','Self Portrait With Electric Brain' and 'Cellulose Sunshine' have particularly infected my musical consciousness.

The Stereolab formula is evident, but sufficiently tweaked to engage the fans- I can't imagine they will be disappointed. This is a great album, and it's certainly not bereft of candidates to add to your selection of favourite Stereolab songs. It also has an infectiously cheerful quality that might just dispel some mental rainclouds- even the mood of restless yearning doesn't stray too far towards melancholy.

N.B I highly recommend getting the 16 track rather than 14 track version- 'The Nth Degree' and 'Magne-Music' are both awesome, the former with its insistent bass and crackling electronic inflections, the latter with its rhythmic electronic bubble sounds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhubarb & cream 1 Jun 2009
By Stuart
Format:Audio CD
Of course, as most of the reviews for this album like to point out, Stereolab have the problem of living up to their beautifully inventive back catalogue, but as someone who's come to their work relatively recently I have to say that, taken on its own terms, this is a deliciously fresh and invigorating creation that turns out to be perfect listening for the suddenly descended semitropical weather. With its echoes of old French film scores and Ipanema and Brian Wilson and with Sadier's addictively rhubarb & cream vocals, it looks set to become my soundtrack for the summer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moogtastic 1 April 2009
Format:Audio CD
I think Krisman totally misses the point with his review, not the 'Labs best album but still extremely good for a band of their standing. Neon Beanbag should have been No.1 in the Charts for a month, nice to see the band take on board new influences (Motown) and mold it into their unique sound.
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