Album Review: Tahiti 80 – The Past, The Present and The Possible

By on Friday, 4th February 2011 at 2:30 pm
 

Winter blues got you down? Let the fun beats from the now six-piece French pop band Tahiti 80 brighten your day. For a band that’s been around in some kind of form since 1993, I’m shocked I’ve never heard of them before or their previous 5 albums and 10 EPs. But their album made its way to my postbox and I heard something special in their latest long-playing effort, the optimistically titled ‘The Past, the Present and the Possible’.

Their sun-dappled sound achieved on this album is deceptively simple: guitars, drums, keyboards, and various synth programming, though one wonders how much is programmed, because it all sounds so flawless, like a well polished diamond. Actually, at times you may feel like you’re inside a video game, because there are various blips and beeps scattered around (the instrumental ‘Rain Steam and Speed’ could have been in a Super Mario Brothers game). The songs just keep bobbing along and therefore they must be amazing to dance to live. Take the opening track ‘Defender’ for instance; it’s got a good beat with Xavier Boyer’s boyish vocals, but then there’s attention-grabbing harmonies at well positioned stops in the music. ‘Easy’ is exactly as it’s titled, it’s a footloose and fancy free, bouncy number.

‘Want Some’ is the most ingenious booty call dressed up as a love song I’ve ever heard: “if you want some / I know you’ve got some / if I want some / it’s gotta be with you”. They’re Frenchmen. I’ll cut them a bit of slack. And you should, if they can write songs like ‘Crack Up’, which is the sonic equivalent of crack. ‘Darlin (Adam and Eve)’ and ‘Nightmares’ seem to be a little darker in vibe but then becomes pure pop; ‘Solitary Bizness’ is of a similar vibe, but like all the songs on here, has mad beats. The oddball, rather surprisingly, is the title track, orchestrated to be less of a dancefloor number and more of an expansive, outward looking track (which I guess makes sense, given the title), with a chill vibe reminiscent of Broken Bells.

I really like this album. It’s like going into a sweet shop and sampling all different kinds of goodies. There’s a lot of variety, but there’s an awful lot of goodness to enjoy. February can be dark, dreary, rainy, snowy…and ‘The Past, the Present and the Possible’ is the perfect antidote.

8.5/10

‘The Past, the Present and the Possible’ will be released in the UK on 21 February.

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