Air - Talkie Walkie

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Well the good news is that Air's new album is better than their last offering, the disappointing, prog rock, over ambitious opus that was "10,000 HZ Legend". The bad news is that this isn't the treasured delight that "Moon Safari" was.

Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit Dunckel aka Air are back on form with the achingly romantic "Talkie Walkie". The French duo produced this album with additional knob twiddling and tweaking from the god like genius of Nigel "Radiohead" Godrich. Lulling me in straight away with "Venus", incorporating acoustic guitar, synths and lush vocals conjuring up an atmospheric, dreamy, magical slow burner of a track. This is a song that deserves your full attention as this a real grower that creeps up on you when you least expect it. "Run" has a more simplistic arrangement, but this doesn't stop it from being any less effective than their more ambitious efforts. It's not unlike a musical form of prozac. Believe you me, listening to this will give you a wonderful sense of well being and lift your spirits up. It's hard to resist such a lovely sound and you can just drift off to it's relaxing aura.

On "Surfing On A Rocket" Air go all psychedelic on us with a nod to 60s mystical magic. The wonderful use of bass, guitar and synths evoke images of space age wonderment. The child like innocence of the lyrics is endearing. Final track "Alone In Kyoto" is featured in the movie Lost In Translation and this isn't the first time Air have worked with it's director Sofia Coppola. They provided the soundtrack to her film debut "The Virgin Suicides". This close to their album, is minimal, subtle, effective and beautifully realized. The gentle crashing of waves and use of piano is naturally hypnotic.

"Talkie Walkie" works well on the whole, but their laid back soundscapes can veer towards soporific on occasion. There's nothing on offer though quite as delightful as "Sexy Boy" or "Kelly Watch The Stars" from their groundbreaking debut album.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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