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Yann Tiersen

∞ (Infinity)


May 20, 2014 Yann Tiersen Bookmark and Share

I suspect there’s many an Anglophone listener for whom there’s always been something quintessentially “French” about Yann Tiersen. The Breton multi-instrumentalist’s brand of orchestral post-rock has haunted the peripheries of the alternative music zeitgeist since the days of Amélie, one of the most successful French cinematic exports ofwell, perhaps everand a whiff of francité has long since trailed him.

Maybe that’s something that Tiersen’s finally trying to put to bed with ∞ (Infinity). English may well have become his adopted mother tongue on recent exploits Dust Lane (2010) and Skyline (2011), but ‘s pan-continental aspirations see it present songs in no less than four different languagesBreton and Faroese included. Spoken Icelandic grapples with marching bass sounds on “Steinn,” while Breton meets chugging power chords on “Ar maen Bihan.”

International diplomacy aside, carries forward the sense of saturated anthemia that’s been Tiersen’s calling card since the start of the decade. Introductory sound collage “Infinity”a kind of aural equivalent to a misty seastorm-sets this pace; as it bleeds into album opener proper “Slippery Stones,” the menacing oceanic clutter of sound seems to coalesce into a single entity. Tiersen’s taxonomy of sounds and sonorities seems to know no end, and is as texturally varied and inventive as ever.

All things considered, might not match the immediacy and imagination of its predecessor Skyline, but the record certainly has its buoyant moments of unadulterated joie de vivre. By the end of it all, that’s really what seems to shine through. As the Scottish narrator of “Meteorite” tells of humble romances flourishing “behind coin-operated lavatories,” and as “The Crossing,” turns Tiersen’s old trick of communal choruses, there’s a sense that Tiersen’s infinity is one of triumph rather than overload. (www.yanntiersen.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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