MOJO REVIEW OF 'BALLROOM' BY TAHITI 80
Contemplation and harmony on overdue album from French stalwarts
It's been four years since Tahiti 80's last album, and 15 years since their debut. 'Ballroom' is their sixth, and their second for their own label.
Although producer and sometime Black Key Richard Swift is their collaborator here (his most pertinent production credits are Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier and Damien Jurado) 'Ballroom' is indubitably the work of 'Tahiti 80'.
This warm glow of an album opens with 'Crush!', a gently propulsive groove with Curtis Mayfields vocals, Beach Boys harmonies, snappy bass, disco-delight rums and a sunny ascending melody. Although 'Missing' reveals Phoenix's debt to Tahiti 80, much of 'Ballroom' is about reflection: 'Love by Numbers' leafs through past relationships: the Lotus Eaters-like 'T.D.K.' finds singer Xavier Boyer confessing "I became good at lying!". The poignant 'Ballroom' takes place on a dancefloor where memories rather than aspirations colour the air.
Kieron Tyler - Mojo Magazine