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    Friday, June 06, 2008

    Frappe tes mains, bouge ton corps


    Photo by Joana Linda

    Yelle's "Amour Du Sol" could be thirty seconds long, and I'd still love it. In that first half-minute, it charts a mood more inviting than most pop songs manage in four minutes. Warm, bubbly synths sweep in first, to the syncopated chime of robo-bells. Soon, Yelle's voice trickles into the mix, singing "amour" over and over with the same layered affect. That one word echoes under reverb, sounding remarkably optimistic and pure for something so studio-driven. It's not just a song about being in love; it feels like we're hearing someone falling in love.

    When the intro cedes to the main beat, "Amour Du Sol" becomes more conventional but no less winning. Yelle, otherwise known as 25-year-old Breton singer Julie Buidet, delivers every line like a slumber-party teen singing into a hairbrush. Her enthusiasm's unflappable, and pairs nicely with the giddy electronics pogo-ing beside her. She's so confident that she adopts a sort of hip-hop cadence for the verses. And lyrics that might sound ridiculous in English ("Devant toutes mes copines, on va bouger nos 'ass'," which roughly means, "In front of all my girls, we're gonna move our asses") sound downright winsome.

    At the two-and-a-half-minute mark, the song moves into a bridge that sounds something like a Brazilian parade route. A percussive Latin beat leaps with renewed vigor, as a whistle pipes out the catchy chorus's melody. It's another unexpected detour, tweaking the pop standard even as it pledges its allegiance to the genre. Though the bridge only lasts twenty-three seconds, it leaves a lasting impression much like the intro. It confirms that Yelle knows how to maximize her moments, transforming every measure into a labor of love.

    * MP3: "Amour Du Sol" - Yelle from Pop-Up [Buy it]

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