Tahiti 80 - Fosbury
Record Label: The Militia Group
Release Date: June 27, 2005, November 14, 2006 (re-release)
Tahiti 80 are the quintessential Euro-pop band gunning house beats along jangly funk synth-soaked textures. The slick production of their latest release Fosbury, produced by Neal Pouge and Serban Ghenea (Outkast, Nero), shows influences that are shared by The Charlatans and Grand National. The songs have hints of nu-wave flickers and disco-club riffs crowned by sunny-pop verandas. Some of the tracks even have a soul-jazz prowl, which makes Fosbury perfect music for couples celebrating their six month anniversary of dating. It’s the time when couples feel secure enough to share more of themselves, plus they aren’t bored with each other so the romantic flavoring of the music isn’t a turn-off to them. Fosbury should come with a warning label that says, "This is mushy music for those who are tender at heart and soft in spirit."
The glitter rock lining of tracks like “Big Day” and “Changes” have gemstone effects, and the nu-wave induced bushy synths of “Here Comes” show a lineage to ‘80s new wavers like Soft Cell. The melodic timing and electro-pop flourishes of “Chinatown” and “Your Love Shines” have sputtering synths and digital beats that fuse a happy-go-lucky vibe as the horn sections of the latter brightens the loosely held gaps. The lounge rock nuggets of “All Over Again” have a stylish sway as the vocal falsettos of lead singer Xavier Boyer echo with vocal overdubs that go in and out. Guitarist Mederic Gontier produces refined acoustic rondelets on “Take Me Back” while bassist Pedro Resende and drummer Sylvain Marchand inject the melody with a spray of gently padded beats.
The balladry momentum of “Empty and Amused” is equalized by the bubbly funk-pop hues of “Cherry Pie,” while the synth rolls of “On the Run” and “Somebody New” glitter and spark with lightly detonated fuses. The pulsating beats of “Matter of Time” are seasoned with soft-pop chimes and the lyrics are a bit cliché like, “I know we can work it out / Just a matter of time / Give me a try.” If I did not know any better, I would say that the words came right out of romance novels. If they don’t, then romance novelists should be taking notes on Tahiti 80’s lyrics. Fosbury has four bonus tracks which are remakes of Chi-Lites single “Give It Away,” The Turtles' “Happy Together,” Epic Soundtrack’s “Fallen Down,” and the Jaga Jazzist remix “Changes.” The music shows Tahiti 80’s ability to hoop synth spins, house beats, and glaring guitar effects, which makes these songs their own and gives them a refreshing feel.
Tahiti 80, who hail from Rouen, France, coil clusters of electro-pop, light funk-pop, and soul-jazz into glittering sonic amphitheaters. Tahiti 80 describe themselves as a blend of their fellow French contemporaries Phoenix and Air with the funk-pop elements of Prince. Fosbury is eclectic music for couples or for anyone who desires to be in a state of happiness. Warning: the music does get mushy. But there is always a place for mushiness in one’s life, unless you are too old and crabby to enjoy it.