Chemical 'Lab

Stereolab's music begs to be decoded. The production is so layered and crisp that the instruments never nettle one another, while the band's pop aesthetic genuflects before a vast array of styles, formulas, and genres. Pick apart one of Stereolab's songs and you're bound to discover everything from Steve Reich to surf rock. On 2008's Chemical Chords, "Silver Sands," "Nous Vous Demandons Pardon," and "Daisy Click Clack" reshape Motown, French synthwave, and ragtime respectively. Stereolab offers diversity for the sake of function, and nearly 20 years into its recording career, the band has never sounded so compelling.

 
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