Stereolab
Dots and Loops


5.0
classic

Review

by Wayfarer1991 USER (6 Reviews)
November 14th, 2016 | 17 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 as 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 found the algorithm for producing a very particular sort of beauty. Just glossy enough; what you wish you heard in hotel lobbies and elevators. Bubbly, and 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. This is not a flashy piece, yet neither is it banal. It is, perhaps, best taken as a system; a universe with its own laws. A singular rhythm guiding the entire affair, temperate in structure, to be taken with red wine and small company.

The feeling of being cozy in a snowstorm.



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user ratings (105)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ryus
November 14th 2016


15601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice

Digging: DJ Richard - Path of Ruin

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 14th 2016


15238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bless u



parsec fuckin goes

AnimalsAsSummit
November 14th 2016


2952 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this is a true journey to the future



great review, great album, incredibly influential

mindleviticus
November 16th 2016


9212 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

excellent review. I agree 100%

SandwichBubble
December 17th 2016


4853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

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

Digging: Madonnatron - Madonnatron

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2017


11563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sput been sleeping on this.

SandwichBubble
September 15th 2017


4853 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
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2017


11563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the only one i've heard so far tbh.

Where to next?

SandwichBubble
September 15th 2017


4853 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 15th 2017


2952 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

best stereolab imo:



this



cobra phases group



sound-dust





all 5s

SandwichBubble
September 15th 2017


4853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Transient Random-Noise Bursts for me.

How the hell does that one not have a review?

SandwichBubble
September 15th 2017


4853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's a depressing album rating

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
September 16th 2017


15238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cobra is their best

SandwichBubble
September 16th 2017


4853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

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

sportsboy
September 24th 2017


679 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this review is too real

Digging: Baths - Romaplasm

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2017


11563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah i really love it.

Album turned 20 yesterday.

Tyler.
October 9th 2017


13779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

jamming this for the first time



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