Three years after his previous release, Skyline, French musician Yann Tiersen has returned with his eighth studio album entitled Infinity. Once again, Tiersen has assembled a talented group of vocalists, musicians, engineers and producers to help him conceptualize his grandiose ideas. Most notably, Icelandic string-quartet Aniima (best known for their work with post-rock outfit Sigur Ros) play a large role on the album contributing both instrumentation and vocal work on nearly every track.
Infinity is nothing short of an incredible journey full of emotion, texture and a myriad of languages. The album begins with an arrangement of heavy wind-like sounds that are simultaneously ominous yet, comforting. Progressively and seamlessly, an assortment of bells, percussion and vocals work their way into the mixture of sounds on “Slippery Stones,” which can best be described as a waltz for ghouls. These initial sounds set the tone for the rest of the album, which never strays too far from baroque-pop. There are moments on the album where the diversity of Tiersen’s influences shine through— where the electronic echoes of a sawtooth synth and digital drums clash with a swaying horn section and thundering percussion. Overall, Tiersen’s ability to mend an array of instrumentation into one homogenous sound is truly astonishing and makes for a captivating listen.
The most captivating aspect of Infinity, however, rests in the assortment of languages heard throughout. A combination of English, French and Icelandic comes together to create a truly unique harmony, adding to the already choral-nature of the album. The most captivating example of vocal work can be heard on the final track, “Meteorites,” where Scottish poet Aidan Moffat recites a wonderfully written piece of poetry that delves into the ephemeral nature of new love.
– Michael Langiewicz