AAC (Hi-Quality) (44k)
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"Talkie Walkie"
by: Sun-J

GREAT NEWS!!! The French have proved themselves to actually be useful. All jokes aside, the French duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit Danckel have returned with, dare I say...a breath of fresh "AIR?" Well, one thing I refuse to do is compare this album to Moon Safari. Let me get this out in the open from the beginning so it is never to be Revisited in this review. Yes, Moon Safari was classic. The leadoff track, "Sexy Boy," is still everyone's favorites, and the tracks from the album are still floating around in commercials, game shows and sitcoms. The greatness of Moon Safari completely overshadowed 10,000Hz Legend, and Air in my opinion were unfairly criticized on their sophomore release. I felt the aptly proved their musical genius as an endearing accompaniment to Sofia Coppola's Virgin Suicides, and one should never overlook the collaborations of City Reading. Air have joined again to produce another subtle gem. A large part of their success on this release goes to the man behind the boards of Radiohead's last four albums, producer Nigel Godrich. Godrich's ear for arrangement is uncanny, and he does a superb job of arranging the carefully catered strings of Michael Colombier.

The album opens with "Venus," a track which begins with alternating G major and C minor chords amidst hand claps and whimsical lyrics before transforming with the addition of Godrich added space sounds. "Cherry Blossom Girl," contains a translucent acoustic guitar riff before being romanced by curious flutes. "Run" is an eerie sounding track with bizarre lyrics while "Universal Traveler," springs into the forefront with a Spanish guitar and searching lyrics, "If you have a look, outside on the sea, everything is white, it's so wonderful." "Mike Mills," bleeds with hints of Vivaldi as synthesized instruments bounce around a cascading piano riff with a 1,2 drum kick. "Surfin' on a Rock," is a catchy French-pop track with an incredible back beat. "Another Day," is a minor key melody with a Transylvanian feel which is reminiscent of The Faceless Romantics, "Get in October." "Alpha Beta Gaga," cleverly implements a whistling riff from an actual human voice which drowns out the electronic, sub pop sounds. "Biological," has a Japanese banjo, while "Alone in Kyoto" accentuates mystery. In fact, many may remember this track from Sofia Coppola's latest flick, Lost in Translation. The song is played in the scene where Scarlet Johansson's character wanders around Kyoto's temples, fusing Japan's mystery with her immature ignorance.

As a whole the album encompasses everything we can expect from Air. Every instrument seems to be found on this track, and the melodies are gentle and calm, always building, which is why the make for grand television music. The most standout sound on this album, is the gently plucked acoustic parts. Unlike past albums, Godin and Dunckel handle all vocal tasks, and at times can become tiresome as they stress odd syllables and sing lyrics which never seem to connect to subsequent lines. Though, I should expect nothing less from a duo who performed Seventies keyboard-rock on stage wearing capes.



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