Tahiti 80 have released two albums that are low-key pop gems. Their fourth release for Minty Fresh, A Piece of Sunshine, is a strange little record. Too short to be an album, too long to be an EP, one wonders at the rationale behind its release. Does the band not have enough good songs for an album? Do they have so many that they can spare these eight songs to whet appetites for the next full-length? Either way, if you like your pop frothy and with little or no redeeming social qualities then this is for you. The eight songs are lush, light, and breezy with Xavier Boyer's feathery falsetto caressed by walls of gentle guitars, lush horn and string arrangements, and bolstered by smooth but not slick production from Andy Chase. They are not quite up to par with the band's best songs from the first two albums, but they are still plenty enjoyable. "Strange Things" is the highlight of the set. A highly arranged and surprising track, it points a possible way ahead for the band, leaving the propulsive sunburst of their usual sound behind for a more cerebral, reflective approach. The record also comes with a second disc consisting of videos for "1,000 Times," "Wallpaper for the Soul," "Heartbeat," "A Love From Outer Space," and "Saison" as well as a frequently charming EPK (that's electronic press kit for those of you lucky enough not to be familiar with record-industry insider talk). Fans of the group will find this bonus disc to be a true bonus as the band makes very good videos, especially the clip for their very impressive cover of A.R. Kane's "A Love From Outer Space," which features Legos in the starring roles (the video, that is, not the song).
Extra Pieces of Sunshine Review
by Tim Sendra