Music Review: Chemical Chords

Stereolab’s latest album finds the sextet in a friendly groove. Don’t miss the title track.


For nearly two decades, this playful French-English ensemble has run the gamut of electronica, from bubblegum fun to artsy abstraction. Chemical Chords finds the sextet in a friendly groove, crafting alluring neon melodies that recall old masters such as Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson. Flanked by tinkling harpsichords, shimmering synthesizers, and assorted other keyboards, singer Laetitia Sadier conjures dreamy melancholy in tunes such as “Neon Beanbag” and “Cellulose Sunshine.” It’s hard to imagine a more enthralling display of brooding romanticism than the title track, which could pass for the score of a ’60s caper flick.

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