Stereolab’s latest is an offering of hazy, floating and at times lush and lavish pop songs – a simplistic and somewhat minimalist album that feels playful and charming. The playfulness leads ‘Not Music’ (even the title has tongue lodged in cheek) to exude a certain degree of youth and subsequent freshness, which is no easy feat when you’re a band now in its twentieth year together. The use of repetition creates an underlying degree of tension and angst, but, sugar-coated, it’s easy to swallow, and the use of a Moog or two is always a joy to hear, thickly pulsating and penetrating vibrations that hum and fuzz in equal measures. Sadier’s vocals are still as odd and Nico-like as ever, and the ten-minute plus ‘Silver Sands’ is a particular highlight of the album, managing to amalgamate all the band’s oddities and quirks into one long, twisted number.

By Daniel Dylan Wray

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