"Chemical Chords" by Stereolab (2008)
Better living through Chords.
Chemical Chords marks the tenth album overall for French-Pop group Stereolab and second album since one of their founding vocalists Mary Hansen was killed in a tragic bicycling accident. Chemical Chords has much in common with 2004's upbeat Margarine Eclipse and is even more so than its predecessor.
Focusing more on live instrumentation and direct, to the point Pop songs, Chemical Chords is probably the most enjoyable Stereolab record in over a decade. Laetitia Sadier's vocals here are strong and bounce around from one track to the next like a cool summer breeze. Tim Gane's musical arrangements on Chemical Chords feel like they were inspired by old Motown records and even long ago one-time Stereolab member Sean O'Hagan (now of the vastly underrated High Llamas) makes a return to his first fold and puts together some top notch string arrangements here. If ever there was an album to put that final stamp on summer with the top rolled down and the wind at your back this is definitely it.
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