Martin Solveig

Martin Solveig

Martin Solveig might not be the complete antidote for the seriousness that's engulfed dance music of late, but he's at least a welcome reminder of honest, simple pleasures. On his 2005 breakthrough, Hedonist, and his most recent, 2008's C'est La Vie, Solveig seems less interested in posturing than indulging in blatantly uncool urges, such as '80s soft-rock synthesizers, slap bass, and clean, sparkly guitar lines. There's an undeniably naive charm to his approach, and it helps that even at his silliest, Solveig never sounds the least bit guilty.

A cynic might say the Frenchman simply doesn't know better, though his tongue-in-cheek videos suggest the opposite, proving that self-awareness isn't always synonymous with self-consciousness. Solveig benefits most from the presence of a strong vocalist, and he frequently gets one in the form of Lee Fields, who lends his gritty, James Brown-esque delivery to standouts including "Everybody" and "I Want You." Though his albums might be a tad oversweet for solitary listening, Solveig's live sets are more conducive to his uninhibited kitsch. As he well knows, when you're on the dance floor, what good is it to hold back?

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