‘The Past, The Present and The Possible’ is Tahiti 80’s sixth studio album. The indie-pop band from Rouen and Paris might not be flying the highest banner in the UK, but they are big in their native country of France and they even had a song on FIFA 07 (remember it? No, me neither).
Album opener ‘Defender’ left me impressed; the crunchy bass riff had me in a trance whilst synthesizers buzzed around my head left, right and centre along with a nice, big dollop of jazzy piano chord stabs. Front-man Xavier Boyer takes a back-seat on this song; it seems to me that the music does more of the talking and Boyer’s voice is just an extra instrument. I instantly thought ‘Beach Boys’, ‘The Doors’ and even The Great Escape-era ‘Blur’. From the second song onwards I was concerned that someone had swapped all their Blur CD’s with Cher’s back catalogue.
Such songs as ‘Gate 33’ left me cringing, Boyer singing such lines as “you know I made a movie of you, I really got you looking good it’s true” and “drugs and booze don’t always mix so well”, over a very, thin, airy musical accompaniment made by a band that sound extremely unlikely to indulge in any drug whatsoever apart from paracetamol. Once my face muscles stopped hurting from all the frowning, ‘Want Some’ made them hurt once again multiplied by a factor of four-hundred. It sounds like an over-diluted attempt at a Beatles Magical Mystery Tour B-side, with a completely unnecessary harmonica throughout (and no drugs). ‘Nightmare’ is a breath of fresh air, with some particularly impressive production and great vocal harmonies, it’s just a shame that the rest of the album doesn’t maintain this standard of song-writing. The album consists of far too many ambitious ideas that ironically results in an album with little depth and leaves the listener with no good reason to go and listen again. On the other hand, Tahiti 80 are a pop band, and if they want to write generic-pop music, they have more than done their job.
“Won’t you dig a little deeper?”, Xavier Boyer asks at the start of ‘Solitary Bizness’. Well Xavier, I tried and I tried but I just couldn’t. There was nothing deeper to dig.
Tahiti 80’s ‘The Past, The Present and The Possible’ is out February 21st on Human Sounds. Listen to Jimmy Edgar’s remix of Darlin’ below.