Brooding, French and built off of Stereolab motifs, “Monstre Cosmic” continues the explorations of singer/writer Laetitita Sadier. While there is more than a casual and vague nod to her band, this second Monade release does spread out a bit away from the Stereolab orbit.
Guitars and keys drone in and around Sadier’s muted delivery. “Etolie” manages a melodic groove at the end; “Entre Chien et Loup" has a surprsing but satisfying burst of energy that apporaches the abrasive. The entrire record gives off a drowsy buzz, even with the French Pop aesthetic. Yet it isnt so drowsy as to be indifferent; Monade creates a kind of silky, jaded environment. While Sadier’s lyrics don’t’ reinvent the wheel, they provide another layer, at least rhythmically, to their host tunes.
The record features contributions from Stereolab alum Joe Watson, as well as The Bordeaux Conservatoire, who provide subtle and evokative strings. While the compositions here seem spontaneous—and a couple of them did evolve from loose jams—the taut structures of the tunes helps lend an air of luxury and menace.
“Monstre Cosmic” is not a evokative as their first couple of releases, and while the Brodeaux-based band is still running to some extent in the post-rock shadow of sterolab, Laetitia Sadier is proving that her ideas for this band are becoming more clear and distinct from here prior associations. With Lunch and Lynch as signposts, Monade are coming into their own as a distinct talent. 6/10 -- Mike Wood (14 January, 2009)