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Puzzle


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Amazon's Tahiti 80 Store

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Visit Amazon's Tahiti 80 Store
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Puzzle + Wallpaper for the Soul + Extra Pieces Of Sunshine
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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 July 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atmospheriques
  • ASIN: B00004VM52
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,936 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Yellow Butterfly
2. I.S.A.A.C.
3. Heartbeat
4. Made First (Never Forget)
5. Mr. Davies
6. Swimming Suit
7. Hey Joe
8. Puzzle
9. Easy Way Out
10. Things Are Made To Last Forever
11. Revolution 80
12. When The Sun
13. Revolution 80 (Tahiti Mix)
14. Heartbeat (Video)

Product Description

Product Description

Tahiti 80's bathwater-warm grooves entice and ravish

Taking their name from a souvenir t-shirt given to singer Xavier Boyer's dad back in 1980, these four Parisians have found some truly inviting ways to carve great pop from melancholy and longing. The charismatic Boyer and bandmates Mederic Gontier, Sylvain Marchand and Pedro Resende, a band since '95, are working out some heavy stuff through some unshakeable hooks. Together, they have managed to grab the attention of most of Paris and will soon do the same in Tokyo, London and Anytown, USA.

Xavier and bassist Pedro met back in 1993 at the University of Rouen and connected, as the story goes, based on their love of music. Both gentlemen were heavily entrenched in their love of '60s pop, particularly British artists, (Beatles, Zombies, and especially, The Kinks), as well as their more recent faves Olivia Tremor Control, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, the Cardigans and Eggstone. The two musicians recorded some demos together, pulled guitarists Mederic into the fold in '94, and then drummer Sylvain Marchand completed the lineup the following year. Tahiti 80 would then go on to self-produce an EP appropriately entitled 20 Minutes in 1996, which did well in France garnering some initial press interest in the band.

Subsequent output and association reflected a rare like-mindedness amongst bandmates. Theirs' is an approach to making pop music that encompasses their aforementioned affinity for the timeless, gleaned from the record collections of older siblings, uncles, etc... as well as today's pervading electronic pulse beat. Xavier says, "That's one of the great aspects of today; you can like Big Star and the Chemical Brothers. We like to think that, in a way, we go back to the beginning again, adding contemporary elements like electronic sounds and, I hope, some personality." Perhaps the band's "personality" is more about their obscure fascinations. For example, Xavier is obsessed with '60s Irish crooner Joe Dolan, who with his band the Drifters, recorded a minor pop hit called "The Answer To Everything." He says of his enchantment, "I collect everything Joe has done, for the sleeves and sometimes for the music! It 's amazing! He looks like a red-headed Lou Ferrigno." In addition, there are the palpable obscure influences of such artists as The Left Banke and The Buckinghams, fairly unfamiliar to most of the band's ravenous fan base, but certainly revered by many an audiophile. A year ago, the band flew to New York City to make a record with Ivy's Andy Chase producing. The band dug in at Chase's Stratosphere Studios in lower Manhattan and were visited by Chase's Ivy co-conspirator/Fountains Of Wayne member Adam Schlesinger, who lent a hand with some keyboard tracks as well as ex-Cardinal luminary Eric Matthews, who played some trumpet on the record. Boyer says of working with Matthews, "We are huge fans of Cardinal and of Eric's solo albums. We had one song that needed a trumpet part and Andy immediately thought of him. We sent him some rough mixes and he agreed to cross the U.S. to record with us. He ended up playing on 4 songs."

After tracking in New York, the band trekked over to Sweden to have the record mixed by producer extraordinaire Tore Johansson who has worked with, among others, the Cardigans and St. Etienne. The result is Tahiti 80's debut long player Puzzle, which Xavier describes as "a collection of songs written at various times in our short career," the oldest tune being a gem called "Mr. Davies," dedicated to Boyer's ultimate idol, Ray Davies of the Kinks. The rest of the record proves to be equally as pleasing. So much so that it has inspired Cornelius to work with the band, naming them one of his current faves and asking them to appear on his latest Japanese compilation, (the group have also recently collaborated with Minty Fresh artist Kahimi Karie). >From the enticing starter "Yellow Butterfly," (the band's newest song) through the sexy runaway hit "Heartbeat," into "Hey Joe," the band's homage to the aforementioned Joe Dolan and elsewhere, this is a pop record which will inspire more than just one listen. Tahiti 80 comes complete with a unique vision,remarkable melodic intuition and the charisma to put it all across.

Amazon.co.uk

This French quartet, who borrowed their name from a cheesy souvenir T-shirt, dress up horn- and string-swept 1960s pop bliss in a tie-dyed T-shirt and black leather jacket. With their intricate melding of woozy, reverberating guitars, jangling acoustics, sitar, mellotron, breathy, effortless vocals and almost ridiculously pleasant melodies, a listener would likely place them among their contemporary pop torch-bearers Supergrass or Super Furry Animals (further, lead singer Xavier Boyer's French accent is nearly undetectable). But what gives them away is that seemingly requisite French tendency to leave no edge unsmoothed. Like their techno counterparts Air, Tahiti 80's production is aerated, refined and simply perfect like a silky mousse. Puzzle is carefree pop at its most elegant and substantive. Boyer's proclaimed adoration of the Kinks is evidenced in the more guitar-crunched tracks like the title track and "Hey Joe", and the charming "Mr. Davies" is a reverent tribute to Ray himself. In it, he sings, "He's considered a songwriter, and I am not--at this time". Au contraire, Mr Boyer, you are an exquisite songwriter indeed. --Beth Massa

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Mar. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the sweetest sounding albums you may hear this side of the autumnal equinox...Tahiti80 are obviously more than a little influenced by french band AIR. This is the kind of music though that changes with your mood. It can be funky on one listening, then smooth and relaxing the next. Tracks such as Heartbeat prove to be the jazz-lightfunk number on the album, yellow butterfly the smooth sunday morning choice, and revolution80 the indie influenced track. Never-the-less, all the tracks hold on to the unique sound that is created by Tahiti 80. Is this album Air meets Miles Davis meets Sterolab...who knows...but it is new and it is good...a real good buy for lovers of true music and melodies everywhere!
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Format: Audio CD
A terrific, sundrenched album which would enhance the collection of anyone who has been hooked by Air's Moon Safari or last year's superb Phoenix album, United, arguably the album to which Puzzle bears the most resemblance. Sometimes the slightly processed vocals are redolent of Fountains of Wayne, particularly on Hey Joe, which has nothing to do with Hendrix's song of the same name. Tahiti 80's occasional excursions into acoustic melancholy could also slot nicely onto any Belle & Sebastian album, given a different arrangement. This album has proved extremely elusive in most record stores (when it was released initially, I couldn't track it down anywhere in Dublin or London) but is well worth investigation.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a pleasant surprise. The style borrows from Air and Stereolab while offering a very nice live acoustic sound that adds to its uniqueness. Very hip and tasteful.
5 stars out of five.
Dennis McKown San Diego, CA
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An innocently beautiful summer album 26 July 2000
By Joel Hanson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Tahiti 80 is sissy French pop crafted in the spirit of the 60's rock icons - like the Kinks and the Zombies - that the band so obviously adores. However, Tahiti 80's undeniable charm emanates from lead singer Xavier Boyer's ability to successfully channel his infectiously innocent intonations - like a naïve version of Nick Drake - through the filters of a second language. I can't imagine an American band using, much less getting away with, a lyric like "I return home with special food for my spirit," but such linguistic solecisms have an unusual appeal in light of the somatic ambience of the accompanying music - which, more accurately, draws from several 70's sonic sources - and its capacity to transport you blissfully into the past. For example, the song "Heartbeat," with its bouncy, almost house-like rhythms, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band-esque vocal hook, is so intoxicating and familiar, you'd swear that you once heard it pumping out of an eight-track from a passing, matte-black Camaro, or perhaps in an American Bandstand-induced dream. In addition, the trumpet provided by Eric Matthews and mixes by Tore Johansson keep the nostalgia flowing through standout tracks "Yellow Butterfly," the ABBA-influenced "I.S.A.A.C" and the title track "Puzzle."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5th best record of the decade...It's still the 90's 15 July 2000
By C.C. Billingsworth III - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
To my taste this album is in a highly elite group of albums to be made in the last ten or so years. Jason Falkner, Spookey Ruben, Divine Comedy, Supergrass, Radiohead, Cardinal...this is the company that I believe Tahiti 80 hang's with. "When the Sun" is one of the best songs of the last 20 years, the strings, Xavior...it is perfect.
Speaking of perfect, this album like most is not. There are some 3 or 4 songs that I would rather never hear again but this is a great ratio of failure when the other 7 or so are so great, and in some cases ground breaking.
These guys are all under the age of 23 and what has been done on this debut album seems to suggest that there will be far more, far better, far beyond the way I think and listen to music today.
I sit like a wolf in wait for a new collection of songs from the greatest band to ever come out of France.
a concerned fan
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Music to nourish the soul with 29 Oct. 2000
By John Avila - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I recently purchased this cd after having seen the video for "Heartbeat" on MTV-2. At a time when several of my favorite bands have new releases, I have shelved Fuel & Collective Soul and am unable to stop listening to Tahiti 80. I am very impressed with the unique sound this French quartet has developed. A little bit of 70's mixed in with a refreshing 60's sound, this is a keeper. I doubt this cd will ever be found in a used section at a local music store - it's one of those cd's you'll have to pop in the stereo every once in awhile when you are feeling down, the spirit and sound of this music is uplifting to say the least. Favorite songs on my list would include ISAAC, Mr Davies & the title track, Puzzle. I have found a new "favorite" band of mine!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Very Good Place to Start 24 Jan. 2001
By "jcason" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Tahiti 80 have fashioned the debut album of the year. Forget all the hype about Coldplay and Travis. This is where its at. Granted they are from France not England, but they are one of the few rock-pop bands that is not currently ripping off "The Bends" era Radiohead. This album is fresh and breezy, a lovenote to late 60's/early 70's era songwriting, and that meakes it a welcome rarity today.
The album gets of to a low key start with "Yellow Butterfly", but the song picks up at about the one minute mark with a sped up march of a drum beat. Xavier Boyer's voice has a nice range especially when he breaks from his whisper singing. It't not that his singing voice is bad, its just that he has interesting textures else when in his vocal range. "I.S.S.A.C." has a nice rolling bass line that blends nicely with the crackerjack drums. "Heartbeak" needs to be a single. The disco beat and keyboards wash over like warm sun rays, as the juicy guitar hook lodges itself in your head. "Mr. Davies" is a nice little acoustic exercise that may or not be about The Kinks' Ray Davies. The sweet guitars and strings on "Swimming Suit" interweave with horns to form a perfect summertime song. "Hey Joe" is not a Hendrix cover, but a poppy little rave up that has a few choice blues based guitar riffs. The jangle pop of "Puzzle" has a forlorn quality as Boyer sings over churning guitars that he's "not the only one to feel that emptiness."
In todays musical climate it is rare that one hears a band who sounds like they are excited to pick up their insruments. There is a rift between happy music and artistic music, most bands feel that to be taken seriously they have to be 'dark', and whatever is not heavy or dark must be Britney Spears. The Beatles are considered the best band of all time, but some of their biggest triumphs were songs of joy. Tahiti 80 are just beginning, but this album is like a ray of light on a cloudy music scene. It has also been said that Tahiti 80 borrow too liberally from music from decades past, but their music is not just hipster posturing, its genuine. "Puzzle" is a great place for a band to start. Enjoy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Buy the minty fresh version, its an enhanced CD and cheaper 7 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Great album for fans of Air, Cardigans, Belle & Sebastian, great pop hooks and The Kinks. This is the Japanese version, but the Minty Fresh version contains the video playable on PC/Mac and contains a bonus remix of "revolution 80" not available on this Japanese CD.
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