A dive back into sociopolitical pop.
Two albums into her official solo career, it's becoming clearer what former Stereolab frontwoman Laetitia Sadier brought to her former band: the politically-minded lyrics and '60s European film soundtrack sounds of Silencio are lacking only the motorik beats and extended one-chord post-rock drones from Stereolab's signature sound. Much more than the deeply personal The Trip, a somber reflection on her sister's suicide, Silencio is overtly connected to the world in a sociopolitical sense. Songs like "The Rule of the Game," "Auscultation to the Nation" (auscultation being the act of listening to the heart and lungs) and "There is a Price to Pay for Freedom (and It Isn't Security)" are among Sadier's most pointed lyrics since the days of "Ping-Pong"; that unapologetically leftist sensibility sounds quite timely in the era of the 99%. Happily, so too does the album's gentle musicality, particularly the Brazilian-tinged "Find Me the Pulse of the Universe" and the shimmering "Next Time You See Me," which features a guest spot by Sadier's former bandmate (and ex-husband) Tim Gane. Extra points for the final track, "Invitation au Silence," a spoken monologue in French, followed by a whispered translation in English, followed by two minutes' worth of reverberant silence from the ancient church in which the track was recorded. It's a reflective end to a thoughtful and satisfying album.
|The Rule of the Game|