Not Music


Recorded primarily during the making of 2008’s Chemical Chords, before the band took a self-imposed hiatus, Not Music is adorned with the quirky pop gymnastics Stereolab is known for. Led by Laetitia Sadier’s French-infused vocal lilt, “Everybody’s Weird Except Me,” “Supah Jaianto” and “Leleklato Sugar” (perhaps a nod to the 1918 Hungarian sci-fi movie) expose flavors of dub, lounge and alt-pop. Not everything is so dainty. Two minutes into “So Is Cardboard Clouds,” Stereolab goes big with punctuated horns, while the vibes, keys and minor-key organ on “Equivalences” combine for a sinister one-two-three punch. “Neon Beanbag,” the closing tune, mixed by Atlas Sound, is a treadmill of drone that offers the album’s only true cliffhanger.