Sebastien Tellier: Domesticated

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Monsieur Tellier is an exasperating character, his output ranging from brilliant to tedious. Two members of the Review Corner walked down the aisle to his best song, La Ritournelle, then went to see him at a festival where he was such a clown he ran out of time and was closed down by the stage crew before he could play it, leaving him muttering irately in French.

So which Tellier are we getting on this new album? Neither to be honest. While it’s top marks to him that you never know where he’s going to go with his music, this is neither top class nor, happily, rubbish. Instead Tellier sings about domestic life accompanied by music that’s somewhere between the music we’d imagine accompanying a high quality 70s porn flick, all pillowy and soft, and the dance of his compatriots Daft Punk.

The vocals are delivered via an electronica filter (Vocoder we assume) and to be honest are hard to follow, as they’re hard to comprehend anyway and sometimes he’s in French so you never know if it’s even worth the effort of listening. Even when not in French they’re hard to make out, like he’s singing with peas in his mouth from the bottom of a Hoover bag.

“Here I hoover up / in these softer clothes” he may or may not sing in the rather pleasant opening song, which is somewhere (as is a lot of the album) between George Michael and Jean Michel Jarre.

We realise we’re not exactly selling this, but it’s not bad. The nearest reference point we can come up with is Caged Baby’s 2005 debut Will See You Now, whose vocals are largely forgettable but whose lush electronic instrumentation lifted it well above average.

At worst one for fans only, although lovers of lush electronic pop might latch onto it, as will fans of George Michael from those fabled days when George sang in French and breathed heavily into a Vocoder.

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