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Certain things can be expected when listening to the music of Laetita Sadier. One, the music will be cool. It will sound cool, it will be jazzy, it will be poppy. Second, the lyrics will be intelligent, often political, and dealing with social issues. Third, it will be impossible to dislike. Such is the case with Silencio, her second full-length solo album. It’s a cool, chilled-out affair, one that instantly pleases as it educates and entertains you. Nothing here reminds too terribly much of her former band Stereolab, yet that exotic vibe continues on. Much like 2010’s The Trip, there’s a bit more focus on an organic, earthy sound—at times, such as on “Find Me the Pulse of the Universe” and “Merci De M’Avoir Donne La Ve,” it’s almost like listening to an Unplugged session. There are also some extremely beautiful, tasteful string arrangements to be found as well; “There is a Price to Pay for Freedom (And It Isn’t Security)” has a vibe that recalls Ferrante and Teicher’s soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find “Auscultation of the Nation” (a song about the G-20) on the soundtrack to some obscure 1970s Italian spy movie. But the real highlight here is “Fragment Pour le Future De L’homme,” which shows that she’s still got the touch for a fast-tempo Stereolab style dance number. Sadier is one of those rare talents who rarely missteps; her discography shows an extremely prolific talent with almost no poor quality releases. Silencio only adds to that high level of quality. One of the summer’s breeziest, most enjoyable releases.
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