Margerine Eclipse by Stereolab
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The most amazing thing about Stereolab's Margerine Eclipse
is how much of a surprise it is. It's not just that it's a fantastic record--Stereolab have made plenty of those. But since 1996's classic Emperor Tomato Ketchup
, they've been deconstructing and breaking down their mix of exotic lounge pop and progressive Krautrock, throwing up cyclones of electronic mist. It's yielded some beautiful, but cold and distancing work. Eclipse
shocks you with the contrast. Filled with the warmest possible intentions, it invites you to fall in love with its kind thumps and aural flotsam. Anchored by a test pattern baseline and a sly beat machine, the title track wanders around the edges, breaking into the main groove only to smoothly dissolve in a bittersweet end. Sounds like any other Stereolab song, right? But here--stripped down, dynamic, and alive--it's simply charming. --Matthew Cooke