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Album Review

Universe is not quite Sebastien Tellier's third album: in the great tradition of the Beatles' Yesterday...and Today, it's actually a compilation of all but one of the songs from Tellier's real third album, 2005's Sessions (the dropped song, "Kissed by You," is a perhaps overdramatic piano and voice ballad that's no big loss, and can be purchased online from the usual sources), and about half of his soundtrack to the 2006 film Narco. The latter songs include a beat-heavy remix of the hypnotic instrumental "La Ritournelle," which also appears here in its unadorned original form from Sessions. Yes, it's a bit confusing, but surprisingly, the moody, often orchestral instrumentals from Narco fit perfectly with the more traditional piano-driven singer/songwriter vibe of the songs from Sessions: it's not a stretch to imagine that all 14 of these songs were recorded in the same sessions. Besides "La Ritournelle," which quickly became both Tellier's signature song and a popular tune for licensing for film and TV use, highlights include a tender version of the cabaret classic "La Dolce Vita" recorded in tribute to the song's original singer Christophe, whom Tellier has called one of his biggest influences. The stripped down feel of much of the album, consisting mostly of Tellier's warm, close-miked vocals and a variety of electronic and acoustic keyboards, may be a surprise for those used to the more elaborate chamber pop feel of his earlier records, but it suits the simple, direct songs quite well.


Born: 22 February 1975 in Le Plessis-Bouchard, France

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Sébastien Tellier is a multifaceted instrumentalist/singer from Paris, France's 17th Arrondissement, an elongated arts-and-culture-rich territory located near the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Élysées. After Tellier's "Fantino," a forlorn and beautiful pop confection, appeared on the Source label's 1999 Source Material various-artists compilation, it caught the ear of fellow labelmates Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel, better known as Air. The duo and their management team eventually signed...
Full bio
Universe, Sébastien Tellier
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  • £5.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music, Pop
  • Released: 18 September 2006

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