Pulse of the Early Brain: Switched On, Vol. 5 Image

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  • Summary: The fifth and final volume of Stereolab's Switched On compilation features unreleased tracks, demos and non-album singles.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Sep 2, 2022
    Though a handful of tracks fall into the category of fun but not essential, Pulse of the Early Brain feels more necessary than some of the previous Switched On volumes. As it covers a wide swath of the band's career, it provides a few surprises for even the most avid fans -- and whether listeners are hearing these songs for the first time or the first time in a long time, they sound equally great.
  2. Sep 2, 2022
    Most of the material on this fifth volume of Switched On studiously avoids the trappings of pop music, so hearing this Emperor Tomato Ketchup single as a coda underscores how Stereolab’s music is the product of careful choices and planned adventure, a combination that often produces compelling results as Pulse Of The Early Brain makes plain.
  3. Sep 2, 2022
    At times challenging, at others familiar and accessible, it demonstrates that 30 years after their debut album, Stereolab continue to surprise and reward, their unabating influence threading through every recess of left-of-centre modern music. Perhaps Stereolabesque is a fair term after all.
  4. Uncut
    Sep 2, 2022
    Worth the price alone is the inclusion of their peerless ’97 Nurse With Wound collaboration “Simple Headphone Mind”/“Trippin’ With The Birds”, half an hour of sublime Neu!-sozzled psych as Steven Stapleton caresses the ’lab’s “Long Hair Of Death”. [Oct 2022, p.48]
  5. Mojo
    Sep 2, 2022
    Seen from 2022, Stereolab's sheer breadth of endeavour here can justly be vaunted as heroic. [Oct 2022, p.100]
  6. Sep 6, 2022
    Even though the 3xLP/2xCD set jumps backward and forward in Stereolab’s timeline, the result is a fairly comprehensive portrait of their development from their initial motorik nihilist assault to the pop molecules of their later work.
  7. Classic Rock Magazine
    Sep 2, 2022
    This fifth edition's half-hour documents their second collaboration with Nurse With Wound and never fully recovers. [Sep 2022, p.83]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 6, 2022
    Stereolab has been described as krautrock and hints of jazz , electronic and even brazilian with some of the percussion. Somehow they haveStereolab has been described as krautrock and hints of jazz , electronic and even brazilian with some of the percussion. Somehow they have been indie/EDM style historically but this album is on the road to becoming a commercial success. The production seems to focus on the guitar but all the other instruments provide a unique melody complete with lilting vocals that range from french to english. Based in England with few personnel changes beyond the death of one of it's original band members they took time to recover and the music never stopped. Pulse of the Early Brain Switched on Vol 5 grabs you from beginning to end. This is definitely worth a listen with some decent headphones to get the full effect of Stereolab's ethereal sound. Expand