Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finally, some fresh AIR!

How about a little album review? Well, contrary to previous posts I would like to recommend a brand new album release to you. Two years after Talkie Walkie, Air are back with new stuff: Pocket Symphony.

Their critically acclaimed first album Premiers SymptĂ´mes was followed by the release of Moon Safari, The Virgin Suicides Soundtrack, 10,000Hz Legend, and Talkie Walkie.
Although Air's music is often referred to as electronica, their form of electronic music actually owes a lot to the synthesizer sounds of the 70's. Their influences include Pink Floyd (the mid to late 70's era anyway) and spacerockers Tangerine Dream.
Air uses many of their studio instruments (like Moog synthesizers, the Korg MS20, Wurlitzer and Vocoder) live on stage. The band performs the well-known tracks from the albums live as extended or altered versions.

Songs like Once Upon a Time, Napalm Love, Photograph, and my personal favourite Mer du Japon, have all the ingredients for the typical Air sound that most of us are used to and love. One Hell Of A Party and Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping feature guest vocals from Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. These tracks are a bit more rock inspired, but fits surprisingly well on the album.
So far, the reviews I read are somewhat mixed. I guess some people don't like it when a band feels like taking a little side track – musically speaking. I however, as a fan of Air, am quite happy with Pocket Symphony. The only negative point I can come up with, is that the album should be longer!

Also check out Phoenix, Air's backing band. This french soft rock band would probably never have the cult status it has today if not for their collaborations with Air, but they're well worth listening to.
In addition, Air And Alessandro Baricco's City Reading (2003) is also recommended material. As far as I know, the album is the soundtrack to a ficticous western movie, narrated (in Italian) by Baricco. The music is by Air. I guess this album should be considered as a tribute to the music of Ennio Morricone... At least, that's what I make of it. Nice one, though!

Samples of Pocket Symphony here:


mahood said...

Just after my Guru Guru comment, I see your link on the new Air - maybe you've found the whole album, I have. If you need it...
But I don't agree with you : it is a real deception, not interesting at all!!
Check on my site the Mellow's live sets, you may like.

Salty Dog said...

Hello Mahood,

Thanks for your comment... Even though you don't like the new Air abum (I still do), I'm okay with your remarks. You seem to like the music of bands like Guru Guru, so at least we've got that much in common...

Anyway, if we all had exactly the same taste in music we woul never be able to explore other styles and stuff.

Have a nice day, my friend!