Tahiti 80: The Past, The Present, & The Possible

Tahiti 80: The Past, The Present, & The Possible
When you think of French indie pop bands, you probably think of Phoenix. That is who I think of too. But pre-dating Phoenix is Tahiti 80, a band making music very similar to Phoenix but who has not obtained the same big breaks.
On their sixth studio album, The Past, The Present, & The Possible, it is apparent why they have not obtained their big break. The band truly does occupy the same musical space as Phoenix. Their music is light, airy guitar-driven pop with electronic components like keyboards and drum programming accentuating the sound. Where the two bands differ is in the most crucial place and that is in hooks.
Phoenix deliver huge hooks while Tahiti 80 seem consistently on the brink of a great hook but never quite delivering. Opening track, “Defender” has all the energy of “Lisztomania” with its driving drums and fuzzy bass line but the vocals are almost too airy. The wistfully sung chorus packs little to no punch and betrays what seems like a promising song.
It seems like promising song, after promising song falls just short of greatness. The best song on the album is probably the second to last song on the album, “Crack Up (Extrended).” The song sounds nothing like Phoenix at all; instead it sounds like LCD Soundsystem remixing Dogs Die in Hot Cars. The mixture of electronic drums, turntablism, and keyboards lead to a fairly unexpected moment on the album. The vocals seem to fit a bit better in this type of music rather the usual rock format and create the album’s only truly memorable song.
In the end, The Past, The Present, & The Possible is fairly representative of what Tahiti 80 is: a band with potential but seems to squander it. While this would be fine for a new band, Tahiti 80 is a veteran band that by now should have been able to put together a classic album. Unfortunately, the band has never gotten it together enough to record a full album of something memorable.
Rating: 4.8/10
MP3: Tahiti 80 “Crack Up (Extended)”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon

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