Silencio, the sophomore solo album from Stereolab’s frontwoman Laetitia Sadier, is a lesson in 60’s French pop masking the darker themes of a call-to-arms protest album.
Much of Sadier’s vocal work on the 12 tracks comprising Silencio sound like an amalgam of Francoise Hardy, Nico, and Regina Spektor. Musically, her style pulls from Stereolab’s playbook-–hiding strong socialist themes behind breezy, easy listening.
There is a good mix of styles strewn together making each song a unique experience as opposed to a recording relegated to background music. Album opener “The Rules of the Game,” calls out the 1% while Sadier brightly sings as though she’s riding a bicycle on the streets of Paris. “Find Me the Pulse of the Universe,” follows suit with harmony and vocal styling that pay homage to Nico during her Velvet Underground days. “Fragment Pour le Future de L’homme” is a funk infused disco song. Closing track, “Invitation au Silence” is exactly that; after a two minute introduction spoken in French and translated to English, Sadier leaves you to the sonorous sound of rolling silence.
Silencio isn’t so much a departure as it is a showcase of what Laetitia Sadier does best, socialism and easy listening – Stereolab or not.