The TripAlbum | Laetitia Sadier By Stewart Mason
Former Stereolab frontwoman moves on.
On first listen, Laetitia Sadier's solo debut--not counting the three albums by her former side project Monade, the first of which was almost entirely a homemade affair--sounds close enough to later Stereolab albums that a fellow Critical Mob staffer wondered aloud why the band bothered to break up. But just as each Stereolab album had subtle but important differences from the one before, The Trip reveals its unique aspects upon closer examination. The obvious difference is the relative lack of electronics: Sadier herself plays only guitar, and the vintage synthesizers are otherwise kept in check, coloring the songs rather than anchoring them. The overall vibe is often reminiscent of Sadier's beloved vintage '60s sunshine pop, most notably on a springy cover of "By the Sea" by cult favorites Wendy and Bonnie, which features an interlude of wordless harmonies directly reminiscent of The Free Design, the sibling act that Stereolab named a 1999 single after. The other two covers, sultry takes on Les Rita Mitsouko's mid-'80s dance hit "Un Soir, Un Chien" and the Gershwin standard "Summertime," prove yet again Sadier's eternal hipness, but it's her original songs that stand out: after 20 years singing oblique, often theoretical lyrics, there's a startling first-person directness to songs like "One Million Year Trip" and "Another Monster." Recorded half with her former Monade bandmates Emmanuel Mario and Julien Gasc and half with California polymath Richard Swift, the album nonetheless sounds remarkably uniform, testament to Sadier's singular musical vision.
|Laetitia Sadier - By The Sea|