Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Has a playful, at times otherworldly style which brings to mind children's fairy tales.
  2. 80
    An optimistic-feeling, playful record that recalls the jazzy-edged sunshine and beat pop of the '60s.
  3. An ingratiating return to form that benefits from Sean O'Hagan's eclectic, elastic arrangements.
  4. Laetitia Sadier's vocal melodies soar, so that even when you get two hints of classical minimalist Steve Reich in the first two tracks, there are still tunes to hum.
  5. The album is held back by their insistence on simple songs and simple vocals that keep the record earthbound and solely the province of the already converted.
  6. Q Magazine
    Their best yet. [Sep 2001, p.120]
  7. Mojo
    Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier's prettiest songs since '95's Music For The Amorphous Body Study Center. [Oct 2001, p.116]
  8. Resonance
    Shifts moods so radically that a single song rockets through a half-century of recorded music. [#32, p.59]
  9. Is a welcoming entrance for new fans as much as it is another fine chapter for the diehards.
  10. A major rebirth, relegating the chirpy melodies to expedients, relying less on Sadier's monotone singing, and reaching for new formats within the group's formidable compositional skills.
  11. Alternative Press
    A refreshing journey back to the plugged-in analog sound of early 'Lab albums. [Oct 2001, p.100]
  12. The Wire
    There's everything to like about this release, but nothing to grip or to enage the senses... Stereolab have now defined and refined themselves to a point where they are almost invisible. [#211, p.53]
  13. Sound-Dust achieves a new peak in lush, lounge-friendliness for Stereolab.
  14. It all sounds nice, but little sticks.
  15. Continuing an audio development from Dots and Loops, Sound-Dust is littered with a giddy array of hand percussion instruments — marimba, vibraphone and glockenspiel stir up a polyrhythmic stew, its busyness and complexity sounding like the product of painstaking studio assemblage.
  16. Although Sound-Dust's revisionist zeal is mostly exhausted by the thirty minute mark, its spirit is alive and well in the album's streamlined production aesthetic. Rarely, if ever, are these songs muddied by an obvious surplus of musical ideas.
  17. Entertainment Weekly
    A disappointment compared with their action-packed output of the late '90s. [Fall 2001, p.136]
  18. Spin
    These airy confections of analog-synth purrs and Chicago brass and Laetitia Sadier's obliquely humanist lyrics are distinguishable from one another by tone palette more than by hooks or style. [Oct 2001, p.126]
  19. Urb
    Listeners hoping for a radical departure from previous outings may be disappointed to find that the disc doesn't necessarily break new ground... [Sep 2001, p.152]
  20. Offers the sound of Stereolab doing what they do best. Love it or hate it, it won't alter the world, it just is.
  21. Blender
    This collection seems less pointlessly abstract than 1999's similarly staffed Cobra and Phases. [Aug/Sep 2001, p.130]
  22. Much of the music's electronic undertow has receded, leaving Laetitia Sadier and Mary Hansen's airy melodies and counter-melodies stranded in gassy lounge-pop compositions that sound merely retro instead of retro-futuristic.
  23. Magnet
    I don't know which Stereolab album is more nauseating: Sound-Dust or the last one. [#51, p.118]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. JonathanG
    Feb 20, 2006
    By far Stereolab's most interesting and emotional work. Amazing structural development, with interesting polyrhythms. The brilliance of By far Stereolab's most interesting and emotional work. Amazing structural development, with interesting polyrhythms. The brilliance of this is hidden just below the surface. Don't listen to the lazy critics who overlook this album. Full Review »
  2. LeonardoF
    Oct 25, 2005
    we'll miss you, mary.
  3. MattV
    Mar 13, 2004
    my favourite album of all time...absolutely beautiful...