Margerine Eclipse

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January 26, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

The three full-lengths Stereolab released after 1996’s groundbreaking ”Emperor Tomato Ketchup” were marred by tragically self-indulgent noodlings. Coincidentally — or not — the members of post-rock combo Tortoise who guested on those albums are gone from the wonderful new Margerine Eclipse. Returning to its roots, the band strikes a graceful balance between rockers that charge forward with exhilarating abandon and pop tunes that float about with delightful melodic inventiveness. It’s like greeting old friends who’d been held hostage by free-jazz-playing aliens for seven years.

Margerine Eclipse

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Margerine Eclipse

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