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Pop - Released October 5, 2001 | Parlophone France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This ambitious and successful project will undoubtedly remain a highlight in Yann Tiersen's career. The French composer still wears his influences on his sleeve, but does a better job at channeling them to create a truly personal music. For instance, he has been regularly accused of simply revamping the French tradition of musette waltz, but on this record these references subside in favor of a more diversified and modern musical approach. Tiersen also relies less on instrumentals and further develops his songwriting skills, which benefit from the participation of some distinguished guests. Lisa Germano lends her talents to two songs on which her whispery and almost lethargic voice fits as a glove. The beautifully orchestrated "Les jours tristes" reveals the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon at his own very best and is an excellent reason to wish for a full-length collaboration. The instrumentals, however, do not lag behind. Tiersen's abilities as an instrumentalist shine on two solo pieces. In particular, "Qu'en reste-t-il?," on which he is featured on viola, reaches a climax of an intensity and harshness unheard of in Tiersen's output. Another highlight is "Le jour d'avant," an uplifting piece delving into the Balkan Gypsy tradition. With a prevailing bittersweet playfulness and forlorn atmosphere, L'Absente comes through as an endearing and inspired collection of first-rate compositions and songs. ~ Alain Drouot

Pop - Released February 3, 2003 | Parlophone France


Pop - Released September 27, 2002 | Parlophone France

The double-disc set C'Était Ici presents Yann Tiersen live in concert, performing highlights from his five studio albums and his score for the French film Amélie, the work for which he may be most widely known. While "La Valse d'Amélie" and "L'Autre Valse d'Amélie" sound just as sparkling and magical here as they did in the movie and on its soundtrack, and songs such as "C'Était Ici" and "Rue des Cascades" follow suit, the album gives equal time to the other sides of Tiersen's music. The pieces with vocals are particularly striking, especially "La Rupture," a winding epic that is as eerie as it is beautiful. The mellow, romantic "La Terrasse," meanwhile, highlights the undercurrents of French pop and rock that influence his work. Hints of French folk can be heard on tracks like "Déjà Loin" and the modern-day gypsy fiddling of "Sur le Fil," emphasizing the fact that while Tiersen blends elements of classical, pop, rock, and folk into his music, all of it is quintessentially French. The live format especially suits some of his more energetic songs, such as "Le Jour d'Avant" and "Le Banquet," both of which feature explosive, rock-oriented drumming. Then again, the beautifully intimate renditions of Serge Gainsbourg's "La Noyée" and Tiersen's own "Le Moulin" are just as powerful in a quiet way. The second disc digs deeper into Tiersen's discography, offering more of his longer, more involved compositions such as the swooning "Bagatelle," a collaboration with Dominique Ané, and the 12-minute "Fevrier," which conjures images of the grayest, longest-seeming month with ticking percussion and jittery, atonal pianos, guitars, and brass. Other highlights include the dreamy "Le Méridien" and "La Parade," which feature appropriately somnolent vocals from Lisa Germano, another of Tiersen's frequent collaborators, and the gorgeous "Monochrome," a paradoxically vivid description of day-to-day tedium sung by Ané. C'Était Ici functions almost like a greatest-hits collection of Tiersen's work: a welcome reminder for fans of his diverse talent, and an introduction to the rest of his work for those charmed by Amélie. While most two-hour live albums don't necessarily make a good introduction to an artist's work, C'Était Ici is a very happy exception to that rule. ~ Heather Phares

Pop - Released May 20, 2005 | Parlophone France


Pop - Released April 23, 2001 | Parlophone France


Pop - Released November 13, 2006 | Parlophone France


Pop - Released September 8, 2006 | Parlophone France


Pop - Released October 24, 2003 | Parlophone France


Pop - Released May 13, 2005 | Parlophone France