Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Last week, for reasons too embarrassing to explain, we went on a brief bender of Roger Moore's Bond films. Awful, slow, wooden and guaranteed to have you asleep on the couch within 20 minutes.
Anyway, my suspicion is that Stereolab might have been doing much the same at some point because there are a few tracks here which could have stepped neatly out of those soundtracks as incidental music when Bond is walking down a boulevard, entering a hip Parisian nightclub or watching from the shadows with Montmartre in the background.
The pervasive Franglaise feel adds the customary whiff of exoticism and Tim Gane's recent soundtrack work on La Vie d'Artiste with Sean O'Hagan (which was previously posted at Elsewhere) has also discreetly filtered through in orchestrated pieces such as the charming title track and featherlight Fractal Dream.
And charm (not an attribute many will rate I have to concede) is everywhere here: the baroque stylings of the brass section, the whispery vocals; romantic strings; chipper rhythms and upbeat mood which eases towards Mediterranaean warmth . . .
This is more pleasant than pointed, and largely a mood piece of the kind you'd expect this band to create in their own studio outside Bordeaux over summer.
A bit on the bantamweight side of the ledger for my taste -- but then again it has been raining the past few days and I suspect this will sound much more appealing in the warmer days to come.