Yann Tiersen


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On Skyline, Yann Tiersen goes further down the path he forged on Dust Lane, moving away from the delicate, keyboard-driven reveries that marked early work such as the tracks collected for the Amélie score or the music for Good Bye Lenin! and toward a post-rock-tinged sound that, despite its differences, is just as widescreen-ready. While the galloping rhythms and swift melody of "Forgive Me" are most like the works that won Tiersen a legion of film buff fans, most of Skyline evokes comparisons to other artists. The bursts of instant-gratification guitars on "Another Shore" could come just as easily from Smashing Pumpkins' "Today" or from Mogwai, while twinkly, bittersweet tunes like "I'm Gonna Live Anyhow" and "The Trial" call to mind Múm or Morr Music acts such as Borko; still elsewhere, the lush romanticism of "The Gutter"'s dream pop recalls Saturdays=Youth-era M83 and the odd mix of screaming, toy piano, and glockenspiel on "Exit 25 Block 20" seems like something Fuck Buttons would attempt. While Tiersen tries on different approaches for size on each of Skyline's songs, his nimble melodic sense and unfailing skill at evoking the right mood at the right time are unmistakable. Skyline isn't as obviously dark as Dust Lane was, but melancholy pervades the entire album, welling to the surface on "Hesitation Wound," where Tiersen's frail voice drifts farther and farther away from the listener and into a galaxy of strafing synths. While this album and Dust Lane sacrifice some of his recognizable sound, the possibilities laid open for Tiersen are too intriguing not to pursue.

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