Most original rock music is created through combining preexisting styles, but Stereolab takes its influences to extremes that border on disseration research. Core band members Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier, who both used to play in the politically charged pop group McCarthy, have a fondness for drawing lines between obscure points of 1950's and 1960's pop culture. The English band's music, most of it made on churning Farfisa organs and percolating Moog synthesizers, allows the bubblegum rock of bands like the Archies and Ohio Express, the electronic ramblings of '70s Krautrockers like Faust and Can, and the novelty pop of 1950's musicians like Martin Denny and Perrey & Kingsley to gather but not necessarily mingle. Stereolab began pushing the envelope of alternative taste at just the right time, when the trend towards seeking out lounge music was beginning and the need of guitar rock that didn't smack of flannel was at its peak. Switched On collects the band's first singles, released on its own Duophonic label. Throughout the album, Sadier sings mostly English lyrics in a soft French accent as Gane strums quick, light guitar rhythms and twists knobs on synthesizers. The result is a great pop album that sounds like it's about to brew coffe, with each pop song boiling over with bubbling electronics.


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