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Stereolab: Thought-Provoking Ear Candy

Stereolab has always toed the line between gorgeous melody and arty structure, as its members' tastes in conventionally cheesy pop music and hypnotic krautrock have demonstrated. It comes as a surprise, then, that the band's 10th full-length album, Chemical Chords, is a bit poppier than its predecessors.

The new album is ear candy on the first listen, but further examination reveals references to the Iraq War, among other heady topics. It's consistent with Stereolab's reputation for a pleasing, innovative and ultimately heuristic style. Appearing on World Café for the first time, Stereolab performs material from Chemical Chords.

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