Sébastien Tellier has always been one for grand concepts and ever more grandiose productions. The Frenchman's albums are often buoyed by lofty back stories, and his new record, L’Aventura, is no different: the album is a musical reimagining of his childhood, a fantasy inspired by the sights of sounds of Brazil rather than the reality of his French home. Tellier has a reputation for jumping around genres as he pleases; it doesn't matter whether he's writing an orchestral score, taking on the role of traditional chanson or letting his chest hair fly freely in your face. Not every effort has been as successful as the last which means you might be tempted to approach L’Aventura a bit tentatively. He intentionally kept his familiarity with Brazilian music limited before recording this album to preserve the childlike naiveté necessary for a genuine revision of his youth. However, we're in luck. Tellier turned to some pretty notable musicians in order to realize his vision. Veteran French musicians Jean-Michel Jarre and Philippe Zdar (of house duo Cassius) were on board to record and mix the record, and lauded Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai worked on the album's string and backing vocal arrangements. These were smart choices that end up benefiting Tellier greatly. There are plenty of sweeping arrangements and sun drenched highs that bring life to the singer's fantastical youth. He might go overboard at times, but the album comes together as an enjoyable whole that continues to pay off on repeated listens.
- music label: Record Makers 2014
reviewed by Hank Ohs 06/2014
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