Not Music - Stereolab

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Nov 29, 2010
    This is Stereolab for the age of the short attention span; but if it's a swan song, it's just as representative of the band's body of work as anything in its 20-year catalog.
  2. Dec 22, 2010
    The polished arrangements, alien harmonies and attention to detail that have characterised Stereolab output over the years are all present and to the usual high standard. [Nov 2010, p.60]
  3. Dec 22, 2010
    It's heady stuff with plenty of detours and time changes.
  4. Nov 16, 2010
    With the veteran experimentalists on a self-imposed hiatus--and now a drummer light--Not Music offers a stopgap if not a final full stop to a kaleidoscopic career.
  5. Nov 15, 2010
    As always, the British-French band has crafted upbeat, bubbly, retro-futuristic songs from strands of krautrock, lounge, French cafe music, and samba.
  6. Nov 15, 2010
    In the end, it's not such a bad thing that Not Music shows Stereolab fans that they didn't always fully appreciate what they had until it was gone, even though a lesson like this can only come when it's too late
  7. Nov 16, 2010
    For reheated leftovers, however, Not Music is delicious.
  8. Nov 16, 2010
    Stereolab's last effort was among the most concise and tightly focused of the band's career, distilling their baroque, buzzing aesthetic into breathless, three-minute pop songs. Not Music mostly echoes that change, but also sprawls like vintage Stereolab when it needs to.
  9. Nov 23, 2010
    With any luck, Stereolab's hiatus will prove to be temporary, but if Not Music is the epitaph of their career, it is a suitably dignified (if not emphatic) one.
  10. Nov 22, 2010
    The signature post-rock and cleverly monotonous Stereolab aesthetic is still present, and continues to be refreshingly innovative.
  11. Nov 19, 2010
    Not Music is all over the place in the best possible way, and fans who love Stereolab's gracefully intellectual side will especially appreciate it.
  12. Nov 17, 2010
    Chalk a point in the "win" column for the old school. [Dec 2010, p.116]
  13. Nov 17, 2010
    The melody is maintained, with the only difference between the two sections is a very pregnant pause added to the notes, the whole of robotic Europop from the '70s lodged into one oversized chrome éclair.
  14. Nov 15, 2010
    Despite its unprepossessing title, Not Music is put together as meticulously as any Stereolab album released during the band's 18 years of service.
  15. 70
    They may be a one trick pony, but these 2008 recordings show that Stereolab are good at what they do.
  16. Nov 11, 2010
    So does the oddly titled Not Music hold any surprises? Yes and no: Stereolab's signature sound is very much present and correct, but this record doesn't sound like the last gasp of a long-lived and generally much-loved band.
  17. Nov 22, 2010
    Inasmuch as Stereolab have accomplished pretty much everything they could, Not Music feels like a passive retread.
  18. Dec 20, 2010
    Though this showcases the group;'s customary modular wit, it doesn't give Laetitia Sadier much to work with tune-wise. [Dec 2010, p.106]
  19. Dec 13, 2010
    At its best, it blows Chemical Chords out of the water but at its worst, it's uninspiring and dull.
  20. Nov 17, 2010
    Not Music presents more of their signature future-retro pop exotica. [Dec. 2010, p. 114]
  21. Nov 15, 2010
    It's an aspect of the band that surely deserves recognition, and Not Music, uneven and understated, is its fitting epitaph.
  22. Nov 12, 2010
    Stereolab will always provide excitement, but in the past, part of that excitement came from a band having no idea of how they should sound, so that the result threw polemics and tangents together with an unmatched grace.
  23. Nov 11, 2010
    It is music, of course, but not new music – Stereolab are on hiatus, after all. So here are another 11 tracks from the sessions that produced their 2008 album Chemical Chords, plus a couple of remixes.
  24. Nov 16, 2010
    Not Music is one of those albums of extras that disappointingly lays bare why these tracks were excluded from those that initially found a release.
  25. Dec 20, 2010
    Not Music can feel a little like trying to solve a series of Sudoko puzzles, the brain fully engaged but the heart untaxed. [Dec 2010, p.97]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 21, 2010
    From the Chemical Chords recording sessions, the tunes on Not Music have the same great production and artistic flavor. In places, the sounds broaden out a bit into new territory, but the overall effect still astounding. These guys remain the best kept "secret" in all of alternative music. Full Review »