Whether it is for the fashion and trends, lifestyles and culture or the music, the French normally do not disappoint. This is, unfortunately, not the case for Yelle’s new album Safari Disco Club. The group who has created a sense of hype surrounding their sound did not deliver in comparison to past material that was praised so fondly for their vintage synth-pop sound. The band seemingly bowed to this hype and lost their edge, relying only on their endearing francophone antics to maintain an air of obscurity while targeting a more mainstream crowd. The title track, “Safari Disco Club,” sounds like something M.I.A. did a few years back using similar bouncy rhythms and anthem-like drums. “Que Veux-Tu,” can be compared to almost anything in the alternative-pop-queen realm of the mainstream world today; it is interchangeable with most of Robyn, Lights or Metric’s work and does not stand out much in comparison. “C’est Pas Une Vie” sounds like recycled Gwen Stefani doing “Hollerback Girl” mixed with the current sounds of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
Despite the harsh criticism, the album is by no means garbage; Safari Disco Club is just a huge decrease in terms of substance and uniqueness in comparison to Yelle’s last album. Where the band lost their unique throwback to synth-pop, they gained a more mainstream sound that is fitting to summer. This album will definitely have its place in the months to come, which will probably be on the dance floor of “alternative clubs” everywhere.
Safari Disco Club is catchy and nothing much more than that. If the band can maintain this mainstream sound and still throw in a few of the tracks that sound similar to what got them their recognition and attention in their future releases then they will have hit the nail on the head. For now, though pretty much the only thing Yelle has stayed true to in terms of their previous widely praised and respected sound, with their release of Safari Disco Club, though, is their ability to generate hype; although this time the hype is generated through their party-anthem beats and is less unique to the band. This time the hype has become more similar to the hype that Lady Gaga generates through her edgier pop releases or to that of their seemingly American sound-sister, Uffie who has never been known for her unique sound and rich talent.