Tahiti 80

Wallpaper for the Soul

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"In my heart there is plenty of room," sings Xavier Boyer in "Wallpaper for the Soul," "for everyone to kill the gloom." This could be a mission statement for the band's breezy, clean, melodic pop/rock stylings. Despite the album's title, Boyer's fey, breathy vocals don't have enough passion or grit to qualify as truly soulful; the band's sound, which is often sweetened by strings, is lightweight and refined instead of earthy, sensual, or intense. The music is still appealing, however, even though it sometimes threatens to recede into the background just like wallpaper. More fully realized and bolstered with a stronger song selection than its predecessor, Wallpaper for the Soul is a well-crafted collection of infectious tunes that won't necessarily stick with you for years to come, but should be quite enjoyable while you're listening. As an additional point of interest, it should be noted that arranger Richard Hawson (the Beatles, Nick Drake, the first James Taylor album) worked with the band on five of this album's songs.

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