Thursday, 10 February 2011

Tahiti 80 – The Past, The Present & The Possible (Human Sounds)

I have been accused in the past of passing judgement on some bands far too quickly, which although it hurts me to admit is probably true. Well Tahiti 80’s latest offering ‘The Past, The Present & The Possible’ was one of those moments that I realised I need to give bands a chance. As I started listening I immediately decided that it was going to be another standard electronic pop album and was ready to give up. But I didn’t and am so glad that I carried on intently hoping for something more, because what I discovered after my first full listen was that in fact this album is a great mix of genre flipping, electronic rock full of highs, lows and lots in-between. 

Album opener ‘Defender’ gets the ball rolling with layers of fuzz bass, dirty guitars and synths building up until it explodes allowing room for luscious vocal harmonies and big drum fills aplenty. They switch from electronic drums to live drumming taking the chorus line to a whole new musical level; a technique that is used effectively throughout the album. The songs are fast paced, eccentric and very memorable with a style that is similar to Super Furry Animals at one moment, ‘Kid A’ era Radiohead the next, and with the occasional hint of Aqualung in there for good measure. But it is when the band really let themselves go that everything gets that little bit more exhilarating: Their extended version of ‘Crack Up’ comes in at eight minutes long and is without a doubt the highlight of the album. Initially sounding like a pretty standard disco rock song, it is allowed to grow into something much more spectacular as synth tracks are layered on top of one another. The resulting sound is heavy and dance driven, like it were plucked straight out of The Chemical Brothers’ album ‘Come With Us’. 

This French six piece (as they are now) have gone through a lot in their extensive career, and have made many attempts at releasing something that will not only be able to define them as a band, but also help to make a name for themselves. It may have taken fifteen years to come to fruition but better late than never – ‘The Past, The Present & The Possible’ could indeed be that album. This is a record created by a band that are experienced at what they do and quite obviously love every minute of it, and that comes across perfectly in what is an outstanding sixth album for Tahiti 80. 9/10

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