You either get it or you don't, right?
I mean, I'm not going to write anything that will make a novice listener a fan of Laetitia Sadier. But what I can do is hip you to the fact that the one-time Stereolab singer has delivered her third wonderful solo album in Something Shines, out today on Drag City.
From the 'lab-like starter "Quantum Soup" to the light and nimble "Then, I Will Love You Again" and on to the "The Milk of Human Tenderness" with its 'lab-like title, Something Shines opens with a one-two-three punch in the style of Sadier's previous band. The jazz drums of Emmanual Mario give "The Milk of Human Tenderness" a flavor previously absent from most Stereolab records. And Sadier sounds a bit relaxed here, as if the vocals were being laid down all at once and live. It's a fantastic performance that thrills without being showy.
The spoken word coda of "The Scene of the Lie" segues into the melodic and lovingly-titled "Release from the Centre of Your Heart" which sounds like an outtake from Dots and Loops...and that's the only time that sounding like an "outtake" can be such high praise. The cut also serves as a pretty good vehicle for Xavi Munoz and his warm bass-work.
The down-tempo mood really hits its stride in "Echo Port" where the keyboards and drums percolate under Sadier's vocals and multi-tracked backing vocals to great effect. Subtle and moving, the song is the highlight of Something Shines for me.
Something Shines is a remarkably consistent album from Laetitia Sadier. More seemingly relaxed than her earlier solo releases but admirably in a class with the best late Stereolab records, this LP should be a must buy for fans today.
Follow Laetitia Sadier on the Drag City website.