Compilation Album
Vermilion Sands

Switched On Stereolab

released: 1992-04
on label: Too Pure
artist: Stereolab
genres: Indie PopNoise Pop
with some: KrautrockSpace RockNeo-Psychedelia
listen at: Apple Spotify YouTube Music

“‘Switched On’ collects Stereolab’s earliest singles, capturing the group’s hypnotic, driving sound in its infancy. Though they’re more guitar-driven and rock-oriented than the band’s later work, tracks like “Super-Electric” and “Au Grand Jour” prove that Stereolab’s basic style – Krautrock lock-grooves, bubbling analog synths, fuzzed-out guitars, and angelic vocals – arrived fully formed. “Doubt” and “Brittle” are among the group’s most vibrant pop songs, while the eight-minute “Contact” is a warm-up for the epics the band would include on albums like ‘Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements’. Reflective pieces like “The Way Will Be Opening” and “High Expectation” show off Laetitia Sadier’s coolly sophisticated, Nico-meets-Francoise Hardy vocals, while “The Light That Will Cease to Fail” manages to be poppy, kinetic, and bittersweet all at once. Though the group would go on to make even more impressive albums, the newness of Stereolab’s sound is palpable on ‘Switched On’, giving the songs an added vitality. Obviously, it’s an impressive debut, but it’s captivating in its own right.” - Heather Phares, AllMusic