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A Few Steps More (Too Pure Records)

Reviewed by Sherman Wick

Laetiticia Sadier is the lead singer and primary songwriter for Monade. Besides her side project, she has received the most notoriety as the lead singer and co-songwriter for experimental pop band Stereolab in collaboration with Tim Gane. The music is remarkably similar to recent Stereolab records, but with less guitar and greater emphasis on vocals (and even more are in Sadier's native French).

Sadier demonstrates her skill at creating lovely structured melodies. Lilting backing vocals and her trombone embellish the melody line on "Paradoxole." "Wash and Dance" is another beautiful melody and the multiple vintage keyboards used on the song's arrangement are the same as on Stereolab tracks. The majority of tracks are upbeat happy pop songs; however, "2 Portes, 7 Penetres" is an exception, at least for the first few minutes of the song where a subdued trombone plays with a measured rhythm section, then exotica organ and a snappy beat enters along with beautiful singing.

This is a superb quirky pop record. The songs are as strongly written and arranged as the past few Stereolab records. Hopefully, Stereolab will return to top form because right now Monade serves as a sufficient substitute.

© 2005 - Sherman Wick