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Does anyone love these guys as much me?
For the longest time I didn't give them a fair shake because I couldn't get into Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Margarine Eclipse (and I figured trying two albums was enough to judge a band...which is true for some bands but definitely not for Stereolab).
I've since fallen head first in love with the band as I've listened to their other output.
Mars Audiac Quintet, Dots and Loops, Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night, and Sound-Dust are all incredible albums, as in "all-time favorite" incredible. Although it's funny, I don't really care for their two highest rated albums on RYM, Transient Random-Noise Bursts & the aforementioned Emperor Tomato Ketchup.
But they way these guys write songs, incorporate different sounds/instruments/textures/layers, and groove like nobody's business, with pretty female vocals over the top...it's got me spellbound. They've become a top 10 artist of all time in my book just from the last year I've began really discovering them.
Stereolab is one of the best bands of the last 20 years. One interesting thing about them is it seems like everybody rates their albums differently. Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Transient... are probably the two most popular, but I've heard someone vouch for almost all of their albums as their best at some point. In an age where most groups only release music every two or three years, it's amazing how prolific they were from 1992-2001. But with a sound as unique and polished as theirs, pretty much anything they attempted was very good at the least.
"French Disko" and "Metronomic Underground" are my favorite tracks, with "The Noise of Carpet" and "Tone Burst" not far behind.
If you should cross Stereolab with Sonic Youth... I actually hold Stereolab in higher regard because of the amount of good songs that are spread out on albums, ep's and singles. There are also a few real good mixes of simpler Lab songs.