Its hard to not love the delectably French SebastiAn. His live shows are consistently mind-blowing, his stage charisma is infectious, and his music is generally some of the most hard-hitting stuff Ed Banger Records has to offer. With his first full studio attempt, Total, listeners finally get what theyve been waiting for. Coming in at a little over 50 minutes and comprised of over 20 tracks, the album offers a string of songs that run seamlessly like a live show, with tracks from every part of SebastiAns seven-year career making appearances. Total really is a celebration of SebastiAns body of work, even if it does hit a few road bumps on the way.
From the opening bars of Hudson River, it becomes immediately apparent how SebastiAns style works. With bruising beats and distorted lyrics, the record flows seamlessly for a while, highlighted by the albums first single, Embody, an immediate standout track. Its almost-pop beat and overtly catchy melody is destined to be a fan favorite. Around halfway through the record, however, things start to get a little shaky. The first problem arises with C.T.F.O., which features M.I.A., but lacks a sense of maturity. The tune is a sad excuse for what SebastiAn may have hoped to be some sort of anthem, and M.I.A. doesn’t do enough to save it. However, the album does come back to form with many classic SebastiAn tracks, most of which have been slightly altered for the official release. Gaspard Auge of Justice also contributes his own flair on Tetra, which is a refreshingly lighter track on an album filled with headbangers.
SebastiAn is a very talented DJ, and with Total, he flexes every muscle he has, all the while grinning with a cigarette in his mouth as though to show us that this is just the beginning. Even if he does trip up every once in a while, it seems to always be in his hunt for the next big thing. If one thing can be said about the French producer, whether on friendly jams like Love in Motion or on jawbreaking masterpieces such as Motor, it’s that he makes it impossible to not want to get up and dance like your life depends on it.