Stereolab
Dots and Loops


5.0
classic

Review

by Wayfarer1991 USER (10 Reviews)
November 14th, 2016 | 352 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Some worlds never lose their luster

Roughly nested in the middle of their musical canon, Dots and Loops marks what many have taken to be Stereolab’s magnum opus. I think this is right.

In music, there are some worlds that never lose their luster. This is an album where a group of people discovered the algorithm for producing a very particular sort of beauty. Just glossy enough; what you wish you heard in hotel lobbies and elevators. Bubbly, yet still suited to the winter months. These are songs with identity, an unmistakably consistent output of nostalgia, melancholy and optimism. When these sorts of small emotional contradictions mix together, my musical vocabulary is hardly apt to capture them. But that is the challenge: to try, over and over, to say what is heard.

What can be said: Stereolab has always played with layering, and you will find quite a lot to pick apart in any of their work. What makes Dots and Loops what it is, however, is its cohesion: the sense that, after myriad attempts to find their balance, they really did.

Granted, balance is not an easy factor to test for: one has to feel a certain absence of discord. But not just this, since discord can itself be what elevates a work of art from the banal to the exciting. And even this is not quite the way to characterize the tension, for it will be complained (perhaps rightly) that Dots and Loops is not exciting per se. It is not a flashy piece, though neither is it banal. Whatever it is it is best taken as a system; a universe with its own laws. A singular rhythm guiding the entire affair, temperate in structure, to be enjoyed with red wine and small company.

The feeling of being cozy in a snowstorm.



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user ratings (212)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ryus
November 14th 2016


23393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice

Digging: Discordance Axis - The Inalienable Dreamless

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2016


19416 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bless u



parsec fuckin goes

AnimalsAsSummit
November 15th 2016


5508 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this is a true journey to the future



great review, great album, incredibly influential

Digging: Headhunter (UK) - Nomad

mindleviticus
November 16th 2016


10203 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

excellent review. I agree 100%

SandwichBubble
December 17th 2016


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just got this on CD. So much better than I remember..

danielcardoso
September 15th 2017


11770 Comments


Sput been sleeping on this.

SandwichBubble
September 15th 2017


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know how I feel about this having the highest average of Stereolab's discog.





Nah, it deserves it

danielcardoso
September 15th 2017


11770 Comments


This is the only one i've heard so far tbh.
Where to next?

SandwichBubble
September 15th 2017


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm probably not the guy to tell you, but Emperor Tomato Ketchup is always a solid choice. (But their whole discog is solid so anything would be a good answer)

AnimalsAsSummit
September 16th 2017


5508 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

best stereolab imo:



this



cobra phases group



sound-dust





all 5s

SandwichBubble
September 16th 2017


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Transient Random-Noise Bursts for me.

How the hell does that one not have a review?

SandwichBubble
September 16th 2017


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's a depressing album rating

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2017


19416 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cobra is their best

SandwichBubble
September 16th 2017


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All this Cobra love, I'm not complaining. Wouldn't call it my favorite though

sportsboy
September 24th 2017


702 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this review is too real

danielcardoso
September 24th 2017


11770 Comments


Yeah i really love it.
Album turned 20 yesterday.

Tyler.
October 9th 2017


18370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

jamming this for the first time

zaruyache
October 16th 2018


23870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

smae.

hadeserbonfa
March 31st 2019


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like it, but it sits too much at the background for me



Although I think it's one of their best records, I don't love it as much as I love Emperor or Noise.



The braziian music influence is a nice touch, tough

AnimalsAsSummit
April 1st 2019


5508 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

one of the best albums ever in any genre



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