Safari Disco Club

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The four years it took Yelle to follow up their debut album might lead the casual observer to expect some kind of dramatic shift in sound or direction. Safari Disco Club betrays almost no development or evolution as the group of singer Julie Budet (“Yelle”) and musicians/producers Jean-François Perrier (“GrandMarnier”) and Tanguy Destable (“Tepr”) stick to what made Pop Up so much fun. Namely, slick and bouncy '80s-influenced dance-pop with Budet’s snarky, happy vocals on top; still influenced by Madonna, brighter than the afternoon sun, and made for dancing to with a big, silly smile on your face. The main difference this time out is that it’s a little slicker sounding, the synths are heavier, more vintage, and more varied, and the songs are less influenced by hip-hop and a little more by Euro-pop, especially on the Moroder-esque "Le Grand Saut." That being said, Safari Disco Club is a monster party album, filled with the kind of songs that spruce up a playlist. Budet sounds more assured than on Pop Up, less shouty and more confident. On songs like the slinky "J'ai Bu," she almost even sounds a little adult! The production (by the guys in the group and guest Moritz Friedrich of Siriusmo on a few tracks) may be slicker, but it’s also filled with little instrumental hooks that are surprising and fun, making each song sound different. So maybe there actually is a little progression to be heard on the record, not enough to ruin what made Pop Up great, but enough to keep Safari from being a carbon copy. If it weren’t for the lack of an R&B ballad like Pop Up’s excellent "Tu Es Beau," it might even be better. As it is, Yelle will have to settle for having made a merely awesome album instead of double awesome one, which is still pretty awesome when you get right down to it.

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