We like M Tellier in the Review Corner — indeed, two of the corner walked down the aisle to his La Ritournelle — but he’s wilfully annoying. We saw him live at a festy once and he came on late and faffed around so much that the stage cut the power, because he’d used up his time, and he never played the aforementioned crowd-pleaser. This new album is about him imagining what music he’d produce if he’d grown up in Brazil. He’s on the cover, drawn naked and flying on a giant bird. Musically, it’s psychedelic sixties pop played by Brazilians. And it’s all in French.
Opener Love has lots of flute and just the word “love”. Sous Les Rayons du Soleil is a about a man painting his happiness (“Alone and delicate, he ventured alone into the sunlight, he painted his happiness,” more or less). Ricky l’Adolescent is about a teenager who struggles to talk, who’s afraid of something and then goes to the beach. Comment Revoir Oursinet is reportedly either about missing his teddy bear or a retelling of a French fairy tale but it’s hard to tell, as he blathers on about being under the stars by the sea.
Like much of his work it’s quite orchestral, and he whispers the vocals like a lewd support actor in a 1960s French film about the dark underbelly of Paris.
He’s hired Brazilian session players so the sound is pukka Brazilian and, typically for Tellier, the music is rich, confident and accomplished. It’s just a bit unfortunate the listener is just left wishing he’d get on with it and play some proper tunes. A bit like the sound man at the festival must have felt, really.