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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
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Pop - Released February 3, 2003 | Parlophone France

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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
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Pop/Rock - Released November 19, 2012 | Ici d'ailleurs

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Pop/Rock - Released November 19, 2012 | Ici d'ailleurs

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Film Soundtracks - Released June 16, 2008 | Peermusic France

Tabarly is a soundtrack for a 2008 documentary film of the same name written and performed by French composer and musician Yann Tiersen. This was his first soundtrack work in five years. The soundtrack was more laid-back and minimalistic compared to Tiersen's other, more whimsical work on films such as Amélie and Good Bye Lenin! -- some of the compositions were performed with only a piano or guitar. As usual, Tiersen played all the instrumental parts himself. ~ Sergey Mesenov
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Pop/Rock - Released January 21, 2013 | Ici d'ailleurs

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Pop - Released May 20, 2005 | Parlophone France

Alternative & Indie - Released December 12, 2018 | Mute

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Pop/Rock - Released January 21, 2013 | Ici d'ailleurs

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All

Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 2019 | Mute

With ALL, Yann Tiersen continues the celebration of special places and the feelings they evoke that was the focus of 2014's ∞ (Infinity) and 2016's Eusa. On the former album, he explored Iceland and the Faroe Islands; on the latter, he paid tribute to his home base of Ushant, an island between Brittany and Cornwall. This time, Tiersen explores the beauty of the world around us -- and humanity's inescapable connection to it -- with results that blend ∞ (Infinity)'s epic beauty with Eusa's intimacy. ALL's creative process was a similar combination of grand and small: Tiersen recorded the majority of the album in the Eskal -- a studio, performance, and community center in Ushant -- but also incorporated field recordings from Germany, England, and California and collaborated with vocalists from Sweden and Iceland as well as his home base, most of whom sing in Breton. These diverse elements come together to reinforce the overarching emotionality of his music. The tender piano melody at the heart of "Tempelhof" is pure Tiersen, as is the bittersweet violin counterpoint of the brief but powerful "Usal Road," a piece inspired by the California road where he was chased by a mountain lion in 2014. With pieces like this one, the beautiful meditation of "Koad (Wood)" (which features Anna von Hausswolff), and the birdsong woven through nearly every track, ALL may be even more overt in its love of nature than the two albums that came before it. In the album's midsection, its interconnectedness reaches nearly mystical levels that encompass nature's radiance on "Heol (Sun)," its shadows on "Gwennilied (Swallows)," and suggest a love that conquers time and space on the ethereal "Pell (Far)." An uplifting, planet-sized embrace, ALL is another triumph for Tiersen. ~ Heather Phares
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Film Soundtracks - Released June 3, 2016 | madoro music

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Pop/Rock - Released November 19, 2012 | Ici d'ailleurs

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Pop/Rock - Released January 21, 2013 | Ici d'ailleurs

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Pop - Released April 23, 2001 | Parlophone France

The soundtrack to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's charming, slightly surreal romantic comedy Amélie features music by Yann Tiersen. Just as the film presents an idyllic, idealized version of Paris, Tiersen's score captures the most romantic aspects of French music, complete with fluttering accordions, delicate harpsichords, mandolins, and poignant strings and pianos. Pieces like "J'y Suis Jamais Allé," "Le Moulin," "La Valse des Monstres," and "Les Jours Tristes" -- which features a toy piano -- convey the film's sweet, slightly skewed outlook perfectly, and are completely charming in their own right. Aside from the three variations on the heroine's theme, "La Valse d'Amélie," most of the score comes from Tiersen's other albums, making Amélie a fine introduction to his work as well as an appropriately winning soundtrack. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 30, 2016 | Mute

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Pop - Released September 8, 2006 | Parlophone France

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 10, 2010 | Ici d'ailleurs

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2014 | Mute

Even if he hadn't created some of the most vivid film music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Yann Tiersen's music would probably be called "filmic." In both his scores and stand-alone albums, the artful way he blends his flair for atmosphere with memorable melodies and instrumentation lends itself to vivid storytelling, something he explores beautifully on his eighth album ∞ (Infinity). Largely recorded in Iceland and inspired by that country as well as the Faroe Islands, much of the album evokes Nordic post-rock while reflecting Tiersen's distinctive touch. "Slippery Stones" and "In Our Minds" echo Múm's ability to sound anthemic, childlike, and dark at the same time. The brassy "Grønjørð" features Tiersen's bandmate Ólavur Jákupsson singing the praises of the Faroe Islands' verdant and volcanic landscape in his native Faroese. "A Midsummer Evening" harnesses Tiersen's fondness for toy instruments into widescreen orchestral psych-rock that captures the surreal joyousness of a long dusk and balmy night. All of this makes ∞ (Infinity) a more cohesive set than its predecessor Skyline. Tiersen expertly uses the album's united motifs and instrumentation to contrast its expansive sounds, such as the title track's sweeping drones, and intimate lyrics like "The Crossing"'s "just hold my hand." Stories are woven through the songs in unexpected ways: "Steinn" and "Ar Maen Bihan" tell the same hypnotic tale of nature and circularity in Icelandic and Tiersen's native Breton, respectively. However, he saves ∞ (Infinity)'s most impressive storytelling for last: "Meteorites," a collaboration with Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat, explores love's intimacy and vastness, moving from merging cells to soaring through the universe. Moffat's burr brings a frankness to lyrics like "this is our rom-com" and gives voice to all the heartbroken, searching, and joyous moods dancing through Tiersen's music over the years. A movie unto itself, "Meteorites" might wink at Tiersen's status as a composer for film, but it's too exquisite to be a joke; it elevates what was already a strong collection into some of his best work. Given its all-encompassing title, it's fitting that ∞ (Infinity) is one of Tiersen's most ambitious albums, but its grand scale only magnifies his music's heartfelt beauty. ~ Heather Phares
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Pop - Released May 13, 2005 | Parlophone France