Yelle, 'Safari Disco Club' (Cooperative USA/Downtown)

Safari Disco Club
Critical Mass
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Label: Cooperative USA/Downtown

by Barry Walters

When Yelle released their 2007 debut, Pop-Up, the French trio was beloved for their outré update of vin-tage synth pop. In the Gaga present, though, the same sounds come across as utterly mainstream. Julie Budet chirps exclusively in French, which helps her Auto-Tuned singsong remain vaguely mysterious, even if her childlike melodies are far simpler than the subtly finessed synths. That pairing of girlie vocals with grown-up instrumentation situates Yelle firmly in the gallic yé-yé tradition of France Gall and Serge Gainsbourg, particularly on "La Musique," where she existentially meditates about music and masturbation.

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