TAHITI 80 - Ballroom

Produced by Richard Swift, Tahiti 80's sixth album confirms their melodic genius. 

Just before summer, Tahiti 80 reminded us of their love affair by releasing the marvellous Crush! a perfect pop song that has since imposed its warm air, pneumatic bass and domestic sunshine energy on endless loops. The first single from Ballroom, Crush! was accompanied by a magnificent cover of Marcos Valle's Garra. The B-side doesn't feature on the Frenchmen's album, but it already heralded the "joga bonito" that unfolds on it.

For if the band's name is Pacific, if its main market is Japanese, if its genome is Anglo-Saxon (the group cites the Beach Boys as much as McCartney and, this time, the clever mixes of Primal Scream on Screamadelica), its work could, all in all, be considered a pop form of Brazilian "beau jeu". Ballroom confirms this: it's a seamless series of swaying, delightful songs, melodies unleashed with the cool agility of a Garrincha, a carnival of counterpunches and little bridges, unexpected gallops and mad gestures. Self-managed on its three previous albums, Tahiti 80 has this time sought out the sonic science of the brilliant Richard Swift (collaborator or producer of the Shins, the Black Keys or Foxygen) for a synthetic terrain capable of revealing the grandeur of its ambitions.

Round but fastidious, the American's sound design rubs electronic saudade into throbbing organs and perfectly reveals the band's genial duality, between instant melodic hooks and a maniacal sense of experimental detail. The T.D.K., transformed into a stellar trek by magical flights of fancy, the other little spring-loaded hit Coldest Summer, almost a Hot Chip track, the intoxicating flowery refrains of Missing or Seven Seas, the two faces - menacing and country - of the impressive The God of the Horizon, the stunning beauty of Love by Numbers, the formidable amplitude of Back 4 More or the elastic finale Solid Gold: the band's sixth album, Ballroom is also a sixth star on their jersey of pop world champions.

Thomas Burgel - Les Inrockuptibles