Album Review: Yelle—“Complètement Fou”

By Dede Akolo, Feature photo via Yelle

The third album from the French electropop trio Yelle provides an interesting dynamic between polished, sensual melodies and strong, vigorous beats and breakdowns. Their last album, Safari Disco Club, was brash, grand and in-your-face. It was a statement made to world of their presence to fit the international popularity gained from their debut album, Pop-Up. Complètement Fou maintains the polished, sparkling production on Pop-Up yet it’s only accented by the chaos and tenacity on Safari Disco Club. Songs feature compelling rhythmic and instrumental choices that are sure to make you want to dance. The dissonant guitar on “Un jour viendra” and the wind pipes that close “Nuit de baise I” exemplify Yelle’s intuitive instrumentation. One song even features a male vocalist, presumably Tepr, again adding another dynamic unseen on their first two albums. Overall, there are continued elements of odd, Caribbean and new wave mixed with the typical electro pop sound known from this album’s producer, Dr. Luke, who produced Ke$ha’s last album.

Album art for Complètement Fou

Album art for Complètement Fou

The dynamic between vigour and sensuality are displayed in the variety of genres amongst tracks and within them. “Coca sans bulles” delivers on the weird front with vocal distortion, yet it transitions into this smooth and bubbly chorus; fitting, as the song title translates to “Cola without Bubbles”. The serene synths that open “Bouquet final” are only a warm-up for a smooth, crashing breakdown in the chorus.

Otherwise, the album is pretty underwhelming, with songs that can be overbearing or plain boring. The chorus in “Ba$$in” for example, is overbearing, repetitive and offers nothing beyond some mediocre Madonna song. The lead vocalist offers vocals in her mid-range for the majority of the album, which can make a song stagnant. Complètement Fou doesn’t offer anything profusely compelling or dynamic. It is fun, danceable and energetic, but lacks the fearless tenacity of Safari Disco Club and the fresh lyricism of Pop-Up.

Fans will find that this album definitely displays Yelle’s creativity. However, Complètement Fou is nothing unusual or especially exciting in the electropop genre. Unfortunately, this is not the full extent of Yelle’s creativity. Those who are not fans of Yelle or the electronic pop genre do not have anything to lose or gain from listening to this album. Regardless, fans of Yelle and pop music will appreciate the mix of driving beats and subdued melodies. (Kemosabe)


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