Monday, January 01, 2007

Tahiti 80 - Fosbury: MAGNET Jan/Feb '07

For one reason or another, the few French rock groups that manage to trickle over the Atlantic and into the American undercurrent share a similar pedigree. Phoenix and Air, for example, both sing in that slightly-slurred, mostly charming Frenglish (if they choose to sing at all). Not to mention their obsession with glitzy, Jamiroquai-esque pop. Tahiti 80 doesn't attempt to brak away from the pack, but that’s more of an observation than a complaint. The Paris group's third album is a midnight rave. Anyone familiar with the Neptunes’ patented production will find warmth in Fosbury's crisp, clanging songs. Not coincidentally, vocalist Xavier Boyer and bassist Pedro Resende, who formed Tahiti 80 in 1993, hired Neptunes’ colleagues Neal Pouge and Serban Ghenea for production and mixing. “Here Comes…” steals the hook from Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful,” keeping the bodies moving while Boyer meditates on redemption and regret. “Changes” covers the same lyrical terrain ("Changes are happening, it's too late to turn back"), burying the emotion in a frantic, Indian-inspired beat. Call it a gift or a curse, but it's difficult to uncover Boyer's demons when the party won't stop.

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