Album: Air, Love 2 (Virgin)
Sunday 04 October 2009
Love 2 is a return to the source for "Air French Band". (It's so much more satisfying to call them that awkward album-sticker name, don't you think? Just as the disambiguating "The London Suede" is actually a better name than Suede.)
On their fifth studio album – sixth, if you include the Virgin Suicides soundtrack – you won't find celebrity collaborators, and you won't find crazy Japanese instruments. Instead, Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin have returned to the womb-like analogue warmth of their favourite tools – Moogs and fuzz boxes, Theremins and school recorders – to create a coherent suite of mood music that is both heady and intricate, with pretty efflorescences and overpowering climaxes, but essentially utopian and optimistic. It cements their place as a kind of Franco-Kraftwerk (right down to the fact that Love 2 was recorded in their own Kling Klang-style purpose-built studio, Atlas, in the banlieues of Paris).
Another thing you won't find here is a hit. The single "Sing Sang Sung", featuring the gamine gambolling of an uncredited female vocalist, is the closest thing to a pop song, but there's no "Kelly Watch the Stars" or "Sexy Boy" here, not even a "Cherry Blossom Girl" or "Wonder Milky Bitch".
There is, though, plenty of other-worldly strangeness, right from the start. Opening track "Do the Joy" (available as a free download at www.aircheology.com) sounds like the story of the proliferation of life on Earth told in a dispassionate "for mash, get Smash" robo-voice, but it's so mangled that it might be about something else entirely. "Love" is a reprise of the bossa-disco beat of George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby" with breathy autotuned imprecations over the top. "Tropical Disease" sounds like stock library music from a composer who was undergoing some sort of apocalyptic breakdown, while "So Light Is Her Footfall" could be an out-take from Serge Gainsbourg's concept album Histoire de Melody Nelson.
Any listener who has drifted away from the duo since Moon Safari won't be disappointed if they choose this moment to dip back into Air's hermetic universe.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
Cilla, episode 3, ITV - review: Ed Stoppard steals the limelight as Beatles manager Brian Epstein
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
The Jungle Book: A tale as old as time
The Simpsons death: Character killed off - but not the one you thought
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >