Album Review: Yann Tiersen

4 April 2012 | 8:33 pm | Lucia Osborne Crowley

Overall, the album’s vocal and instrumental prowess, as well as its courageous ability to push generic boundaries, makes it a hugely successful work.

More Yann Tiersen More Yann Tiersen

Yann Tiersen's new album is at once masterfully understated and highly emotive. His combination of ethereal – and at times haunting – vocals, harmonious guitar lines and a host of other unexpected instruments, creates an album that is evocative in the most impressive of ways. Opening track, Another Shore, moves from strange discordant guitar riffs to a heavy drum sequence and then towards a soft, slow ending section in the closing half of the song. Tiersen debuts his powerful, angelic vocals in I'm Gonna Live Anyhow, as he repeats the title line in a melodic vocal sequence that brings the record to life and gives it a calming forest feel. Exit 25 Block 20 serves as a bizarre interlude and is certainly one of the weaker moments of the record. The psychedelic undertones of the record are brought to the foreground in this track, which seems to detract from the overall tone of the piece.

The steady, powerful feel of the album is reclaimed with Hesitation Wound, a song that boasts some of the most affective vocals the album has to offer. Album closer, Vanishing Point, provides a disjointed conclusion to the album. The record's greatest strengths lie in the masterful musical cohesion, which lacks in this final song. While it is undoubtedly a powerful track, Vanishing Point is a weak, abrupt close to the album and appears pale in comparison to the songs that precede it. Overall, the album's vocal and instrumental prowess as well as its courageous ability to push generic boundaries makes it a hugely successful work.