If you can look past the overall daftness of the lyrics on album opener "Flash Forward," or in its first single, "Life Is My Teacher," you realize how Hervé has matured as a songwriter. On CD1 especially, there's a real compositional knowledge at work: graceful melodies are complemented by carefully crafted arrangements. There is a vintage sensibility on display as well: "Maneki Neko" sounds like an electronic version of Japanese indie surf-rockers Shonen Knife, while "Night Of Light" recalls Ray of Light-era Madonna. On "What To Wear," vocal performance and production are stunningly in synch—sung both in English and French, it's a perfect realization of Miss Kittin's singular approach to dance music, and possibly the best thing she's ever released.
CD2, on the other hand, is mostly built around instrumental lullabies like "Only You," "Tamarin Bay," and album closer "I Don't Know How To Move," all of which radiate with a warm, pulsating glow. This half of the album has a more downtempo feel that borders on IDM at times.
Sadly, the mood here is probably too homogeneous to justify the album's length. Also, why Hervé keeps doing cringe-worthy cover versions is beyond comprehension. A few years ago, she and The Hacker recorded an embarrassing electronic take on Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Mind," and this time, it's R.E.M.'s famous ballad "Everybody Hurts" that gets the Kittin treatment. The end result sounds like a shameful karaoke. Nonetheless, fans of Miss Kittin should still give Calling From The Stars a go, as it remains her most accomplished solo release to date.