One slight against British indie outfit Stereolab is that their post-millennium material began to adopt a perpetual sense of sameness. So, when the quintet went on hiatus in 2009, Sadier seemingly addressed the issue with her outstanding 2010 solo debut, The Trip, taking on a more traditional singer/songwriter role. After reverting back to Stereolab's space-age pop for 2012's Silencio, Sadier has found a happy medium on her latest, Something Shines.
As the fittingly titled "Quantum Soup" proves, Sadier hasn't found total complacency in her sound, as the opening track moves from Krautrock chug to breezy jazz to Tropicália weirdness. Although tracks like the jaunty "The Milk of Human Tenderness" and the minimal "Transhumance" find Laetitia stretching out her craft with folkier arrangements, much of the album falls back into the Stereolab structure of yore. Although much of the material has a familiar lustre to it, Something Shines nonetheless finds Laetitia Sadier at her most contented and focused. (Drag City)