Taking on everything from fractured bedroom folk to Eurovision-worthy electro-pop to Afrobeaty instrumentalism and glammy Jesus rock Sébastien Tellier is no stranger to stylistic shifts. So it’s hardly a surprise that he’s embraced film music for album five Confection .
With the exception of a single track the record skips Tellier’s vocals altogether as he makes his best attempt to emulate scoring greats like Ennio Morricone Maurice Jarre and Piero Piccioni. Mostly this comes out sounding very similar to Tellier’s majestic 2005 track “La Ritournelle” which makes sense considering both its previous collaborators — Afrobeat rhythm king Tony Allen and string arranger Emmanuel d’Orlando — appear throughout Confection .
Still the arrangements feel simplistic like those crafted by a fish-out-of-water pop musician not a cinematic master. Often the album comes across best — and most naturally — when all the solemnly plunked ivory classical guitar and glossy string sections are paired with atmospheric synthwork à la Moon Safari as some rubbery basslines and Allen’s signature beatwork come to the fore.
The album doesn’t give you much to chew on clocking in at just 35 minutes that rely on only a few recycled phrases. In many ways it’s like Tellier boxed himself into a corner with this one giving his expansive musical imagination nowhere to play.