Album review by KevW
It was often said that Stereolab's songs were essentially variations on the same theme. It's an erroneous statement maybe, but it's fair to say they had a distinctive style that lasted their entire career. Another accusation levelled at them was that of Marxist messages hidden in Laetitia Sadier's lyrics. In these respects her second solo album, 'Silencio' will be a gratifying listen for any fan of her old band. Sonically this is a continuation of the music that has constituted her career so far, and lyrically this is as politically charged as she's ever been, while we'll stop short of putting a label on her views, it's safe to say she's not that keen on capitalism.
"Rating agencies, financial markets and the G20 were not elected by the people. In the name of what are we letting them govern our lives? They are politically illegitimate." 'Auscultation Of The Nation' doesn't pull any punches with naming it's targets in the quest for "a real democracy". Set to droning guitars and a kraut-influenced beat it's impossible not to recognise who you're listening to. There's a distinct Gallic feel to much of this album too, with many songs sung in French and the faint echo of ye-ye never far away on tracks like 'Find Me The Pulse Of The Universe'. The spacious ' There Is A Price To Pay For Freedom (And It Isn't Security)' is a cosmic sounding highlight, as is the splendid 'Between Earth & Heaven'.
Elsewhere those fluttery electronics are employed on many tracks, most notably the second half of opener 'The Rule Of The Game', and 'Fragment Pour Le Future De L'Homme' is a likeable venture into funk. Things tail off a little towards the end but overall Laetitia Sadier hasn't exactly broken the habit of a lifetime with this one, and that's the reason why she still has so many fans. Those unique vocals are still magical and imitators are rare. 'Silencio' is pretty much business as usual then, and rather than a criticism this is the exact reason why this album should be embraced by long time devotees and newcomers alike.
Laetitia Sadier's website
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