Sebastien Tellier Politics

A member of Parisian art community 17th Arrondissement, multi-instrumentalist Sebastien Tellier somehow got lost in the fold of the great French (musical) revolution of the late ’90s. Discovered by Air, who signed him to their Record Makers imprint in 1999, Tellier turned plenty of heads with his eccentrically spacey, atmospheric debut L’Incroyable Verite in 2001 — but fell off the map almost immediately after. An inclusion on the Lost in Translation brought him back into public consciousness, and Politics, his second record, found a release in 2004. Now finally being domesticated, his sophomore album finds Tellier flaunting his grand ideas of sweeping symphonic arrangements and peculiar tastes in genre nibbling. There’s an incessant clash between his classically trained French pop and various European-flavoured new wave sketches that oddly isn’t disrupting, but rather just pleasantly odd. Case in point are the closing numbers, "Ketchup Vs Genocide” and "Zombi,” which transform Politics into a whole new beast once they arrive with their flamboyant vocals and indulgent ’80s production. On the flipside, Tellier presents one of the loveliest pop singles of the last decade with the breathtaking "La Ritournelle,” a sensitive, epically structured ballad that builds with grace until it climaxes at the four-minute mark when his vocals sink in. The looped drum beat, emotional strings and affecting piano of this song alone make Politics a prized release, and we can only hope Tellier will bring his recently released acoustic Sessions over here to get a glimpse of yet another side to his distinguished vision. (Maintain One Voice)