Stereolab Margerine Eclipse (Virgin) Rating: NNN
It's been ages since Stereolab came up with anything more adventurous than the pleasant retro-future pop ditties they've been coasting on for the past few years, which is probably why they've built themselves a new studio to record Margerine Eclipse. And they do seem to be taking some experimental risks on the light and snappy set, which creates the feeling of listening to two different recordings simultaneously. There's some degree of beat-synchronization - enough to create intriguing polyrhythms - and Laetitia Sadier's vocals have been split between the channels for a call-and-response effect. The gimmick actually works well on Margerine Rock and Hillbilly Motorbike, but the novelty wears off quickly.