Review of Wallpaper For The Soul Album by Tahiti 80

Tahiti 80 – Wallpaper For The Soul

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Tahiti 80 – Wallpaper For The Soul (released 30.06.03)
Tahiti 80 – Wallpaper For The Soul

(released 30.06.03)

Just in time for the overcast summer skies, an album arrives that is capable of piercing the gloom and providing a soundtrack to a mythical British heat wave. On their second album, Tahiti 80 have created a dozen pop songs which burst with so much warmth a Pulp Fiction style golden glow ought to emanate from the CD box whenever you delve inside. The seasonal timing of the release is no coincidence, as Tahiti 80 aficionados have been able to order the album on import since October last year.

The French four-piece have hired The Urban Soul Orchestra to crank up the lushnessfactor on five tracks by adding mesmerising string and brass sections. The resultis particularly effective on two of the album highlights,‘1,000 Times’ andfirst single ‘Soul Deep’, where the orchestra helps to create extravagantlycatchy northern soul style grooves.

Tahiti 80 – Wallpaper For The Soul  @
Tahiti 80 – Wallpaper For The Soul  @
Throughout ‘Wallpaper For The Soul’ the combination of synthesised and traditional instrumentation is expertly balanced. The complexity of the programming mirrors acclaimed electronica artists such as Four Tet, without ever getting close to sacrificing the essential melody.

The most obvious comparison is with the much missed pop genius of The Boo Radleys.Xavier Boyer’s vocals are pitched at the same level as Boo’s frontman Sice and the dense layers of sound Tahiti 80 generate recall Martin Carr’ssongwriting at its least eccentric.

The lyrical content of the album has less to recommend it, the final verse of ‘MemoriesOf The Past’ states: “This very personal story; May only make senseto me.” It would have been good if more personality had been exposed. Asit is the lyrics express only throwaway uplifting generalisations, for exampleon the title track Xavier sings: "A piece of sunshine a piece of gold; Likea secret never told.”

The lyrics may seem like a hasty afterthought tacked onto the tunes, but whenthe tunes are this good it should easily be forgiven. If you are planning toredecorate your soul, you will not regret opting for Tahiti 80’s Euro-soulsolution. Happiness guaranteed.

Gavin Eves