Yann Tiersen seems to inhabit two different worlds, the melifluous yet jangly style of his soundtracks, and his more esoteric studio albums. This album is very firmly par for the latter course then as Tiersen and friends throw everything, probably including the kitchen sink, at this album with solo piano giving way to soaring choral anthems and heavy guitar sounds mixing with good old fashioned synths, sometimes all on the same song, the first two tracks especially. There is a sad air to much of the lyrical content here, apparently his mother died during the recording of the album, but the music is generally upbeat and uplifting and romps along in good style.
Having said that there are still some Tiersen trade-mark harpsichord, mandolin, accordian and sawing violins sounds - I don't know if they are actually made by those instruments or re-produced by guitar or synth, but that is what they sound like to these untrained ears. The closing track - you can see what it is called - is a crazy progression from gentle acoustic guitar led duet through a jaunty fiddle and banjo section into a massive synth and guitar led cacophony of angelic voices before closing with a gentle ease down on the throttle. I wonder what the song's about by the way.
In any case I am only sorry that I didn't find this album until it was too late to put it into my 2010 favourites list but rest assured it now stands as one of my top three albums of the year.
Saw Yann Tiersen live yesterday in Paris and loved it. Heard some songs from the album before and decided to buy it, I got the vinyl and the CD is in there too, which I thought was great but aside the artwork and the superb packaging, the music is so beautiful too. I listened to the album 6 times and it's a very interesting ride. If you are familiar with Yann Tiersen's work, you will be taken by surprise a bit but at the same time it is relevant and inspiring work and for that I will give it the 5 star treatment! Merci monsieur Tiersen.
I have been expecting this record for some time and like a lot of people, I was driven into the world of Yann Tiersen via his music for Amelie and after listening to that, I was under the spell. Got Les Retrouvailles too and waited patiently for a new record and here it is! OK so this album is really different from what the artist did before but at the same time it is very familiar somehow. The best thing about it is that the more you listen, the more you get into it. It's like it has hidden secrets waiting to be discovered with every listen. I think this is one of the most remarkable records from Yann, I am mesmerized by some of the tunes and I would definitely recommend it.
If you wish to hear "Amelie" all over again, you will be disappointed. However, if you like "L'abstente", "Les Retrouvailles" or especially "Tout Est Calme", you will love this record.
This is not a revolution. Although the record drifts towards the live Tiersen sound, it's still much cleaner and bright than his concerts. The two biggest changes are notable guitar parts and layered group vocals. These contribute wonderfully into making the record interesting, while still maintaining the trademark Tiersen nostalgia.
"Dust Lane" is genuine Tiersen, no doubt about it. Personally, I consider it a masterpiece and my favourite record of his (apart from "Les Retrouvailles" of course :D).
One of my favourite movies ever is Jean-Pierre Jeunet's fantastic "Amélie"; and a big part of it's appeal was it's utterly charming soundtrack, which was by Yann Tiersen. I became a fan instantly, and have been following his work since. "Dust Lane" is another superb album from one of the most interesting musicians France has given to the world in decades. I can highly recommend it, and all his other works.
I confess I do really like Yann Tiersen's work, so I was kindly disposed to this album before I heard it. Although on the other hand my expectations were high.
In either case, this is a record I have to wean myself off overplaying, it is that good. Like all great recordings it takes a couple of playings before you peel away enough layers to discover the true magic, but then the layers keep on coming.
Initially like some sort of wacky Michael Nyman / Polyphonic Spree hybrid, this contains many Yann characteristic touches (instrumentation especially) but 'Amelie ' it certainly ain't. Most of the tracks are songs, with the lyrics in English, although it is the ubër-paired down 'lyrics' of 'Palestine' that really move (buy it to hear what I mean). Clearly Tiersen is a prolific and seemingly effortless creator of melodies, and from listen-one it will have you humming along. I'm no expert but I'd also say his musicianship is outrageously high, although his virtuoso violin playing is even more apparent on some of his older records.
This is easily, really easily, my album of 2010. (Beating off Arcade Fire's 'The Suburbs' and I am Kloot's "Sky at Night" to let you glimpse my tastes). But tastes notwithstanding, I think anyone with ears would struggle to dislike this record. There is nothing that they could have added to, or taken away from, it that would constitute an improvement in my opinion. It's not a very long album, but every moment is obviously carefully considered and beautifully constructed. The vinyl pressing (which comes with a cd) is of very high quality, but I review it here in the hope more people may see/read and realise that this is a very silly price for a truly magical album.