Another year goes by, another seemingly inevitable album for Stereolab. This time around they are joined by American post-rock veterans in the form of John McEntire and Jim O'Rourke who offer more guitar, sound affects, jazz authenticity and a similar penchant for future music with its roots in early minimalism and pop. Once again they conjure up some inspiring, unusual melodies like the 7-minute 'Spacemoth' and the brass-embellished 'Baby Lulu'. 'The Black Arts' cry of "I Need Somebody" demonstrates that Laetitia Sadler's vocals aren't just about aloof blandness. Another noteworthy event is 'Nothing To Do With Me's A Certain Ratio-like funk guitar workout. At over an hour's length again this album struggles to achieve an overall feeling of excellence which of course means the occasionally over-indulgent instrumental solo but, to be fair, even this has a lesser quota than some of their earlier albums. There's also a tendency for Sadler and Mary Hansen to sound disinterested and frankly dull if they aren't backed up with a memorable melody. Nevertheless 'The Lab' have produced another decent album to add to their already lengthy discography.