Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rock of Ages: Stereolab - "Cybele's Reverie" (1996)

I can't put my thumb on Stereolab. As this list progresses and bands are engaging new sounds, it becomes harder and harder to give bands a proper genre. The one thing since the birth of rock and roll that has plagued it is categorizing it. As it melds and morphs as an art form, it has become splintered into fragments of genres. Stereolab is just one of the many, but for all intents and purposes, they are a post rock band with more of a pop sensibility than others. The bands take on pop music is impressive. Synths swirl, strings accent and the vocals are blissfully sublime. Their 1996 album Emperor Tomato Ketchup is a triumphant work of beautiful pop music. It sounds retro and futuristic all at once. The whimsical song "Cybele's Reverie" is a dreamy-spacey pop song that sprawls and rollicks with the best of them. It has so many layers of sound it's really hard to break it down into it's significant parts.

"Cybele's Reverie" is the kind of song that sticks with you. Although multi-layered, it's so catchy that anyone will be able to bop along with it. Although it is sung in French, lyrically it's about the whimsy and innocence of youth and where we go once we've done everything. Although it's sort of sad to think about, the innocence and beauty of our youth is still something worth reflecting on. The music hits these notes perfectly. Lætitia Sadier vocals emote this whimsy perfectly making the track a beautiful peice of pop music mastery. Stereolab has had a great career for an indie band and Emperor Tomato Ketchup deserves its recognition as one of the best albums of the 90's. It's a genre bender in the best way possible.

Up Next: Wilco's back in your old neighborhood

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