Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Tahiti 80-Fosbury

December 1, 2006

tahiti80Band: Tahiti 80

Album Name: Fosbury

Best Element: Stellar falsetto and hip results

Genre: Pop/funk/dance

Website: www.tahiti80.com

Label: Militia Group

Band E-mail: N/a

After being released in over twenty countries worldwide, Tahiti 80’s third album Fosbury finally arrives in U.S. shops, complete with two exclusive tracks and a bonus EP. As it turns out, the States were definitely missing something. Fosbury is the throwback, feel-good funk pop record that Justin Timberlake’s recent snore-fest wanted so badly to be.
Fosbury’s highlights are many, and they are varied. What begins as a simple, spare funk record (see the uber-catchy “Changes” and guitar-assisted grit of “Here Comes…”) soon reveals itself as a finely tuned mixture of genres. The one constant is an indelible sense of classic pop melody. One of the new tracks, “Chinatown,” has the kind of mid-eighties swagger that modern pop’s been missing, while “Your Love Shines” (a duet with Linda Lewis) is downright experimental. Best of all is “Matter of Time,” which sounds like a lost Motown classic. Singer Xavier Boyer’s voice is reminiscent of Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay, yet with more warmth. His personable falsetto carries the record, even in its less successful portions (which, admittedly, are very few).
Tahiti 80 turned to some of the same producers that worked with Outkast and N.E.R.D. for Fosbury, and you can hear it in the music. But, instead of giving in to their producers, the band has expertly melded their pop band with a hip-hop style. The result is a broad-reaching record that sounds incredibly fresh. As the lead single “Changes” simply states: “Changes are happening, it’s too late to turn back.” Amen to that. A-

– Nick James

jamesn65@gmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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