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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Stereolab
Serene Velocity
Rhino

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 12, 2006
Just when we all thought Stereolab would do the unthinkable and last the year without feeling inclined to release an anthology, Serene Velocity presents itself. It seems like yesterday that the group - or 'groop', as they often refer to themselves - collated their bits and pieces in one cosy package with the release of Oscillons from the Anti-Sun, and yet they apparently feel the need to remind the world how great they are all over again. Don't get me wrong, Stereolab are a great band, but the mere gathering of another anthology doesn't necessarily supplement the shortfalls of the disappointingly unremarkable Fab Four Suture.

Fab Four Suture's failure to deliver earlier this year undoubtedly compelled the unyielding Stereolab fanbase to seek out more fruitful material from the band's extensive back catalogue, and it seems that Serene Velocity has been released to make that process easier. All the old faves are on here: "Jenny Ondioline", "Wow and Flutter", "Ping Pong", "Miss Modular" and 12 more. The songs themselves sound as great as they always have done; some, such as "Cybele's Reverie", showcase alternate arrangements, while others, such as "Brakhage", have been lifted from the albums on which they originally appeared.

Serene Velocity makes for a nice mix, but is tarnished by the question of whether its existence is justifiable. What the band have done in this case is little more than the common Stereolab fan that tries to convert his friends by burning mix CDs is able to do. A fair chunk of it can be found on Oscillons from the Anti-Sun, so non-fans would do better to check that out than to fork out the cash for this collection. Otherwise, Serene Velocity is destined to rouse few more than ardent record collectors and avid 'groopees'. Given their consistency over the last 15 or so years, perhaps Stereolab can get away with stunts like this, but fresh produce, rather than nods toward the past, is what this band is really good at.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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