Monade A Few Steps More

Monade is the side project of Stereolab co-founder Laetitia Sadier. This second album follows up 2003’s Socialisme ou Barberie, a collection of D.I.Y bedroom recordings. A Few Steps More benefits from the addition of a full band this time out, as well as the fact that this album was recorded in a proper studio environment. This latest release is upbeat and poppy, while the tracks are slickly produced and sung by Laetitia entirely in French. Instrumentation like bass, keys, drums, moog, tambourine and trombone guarantee the work a particular cohesion and French pop sound. This disc is sometimes atmospheric, while at other times surprisingly sparse. Upon reflection, Monade play as a more mature, adult contemporary Stereolab; the up-tempo selections are still there but the work is considerably less dense and the aforementioned choice of instrumentation and arrangement makes the tracks less spacey-dreamy and more accessible. Fans of Stereolab will probably appreciate Monade’s latest effort despite its more conservative "grown up” sound; though finding an audience in today’s North American world of music will probably prove more difficult. A Few Steps More will likely find a home on college radio, but unfortunately feels too fluffy, foreign and dated (back to the mid-’90s) to garner any true mainstream adoration. (Too Pure)