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Air | Talkie Walkie | review | electro | Lollipop
Talkie Walkie (Astralwerks)
by Tim Den
I've always liked Air's aesthetics: Mellow atmospherics, tender organic instruments, whispery vocals, distinctively French songwriting (Gainsbourg, Brel, etc.), and clever studio know-how bringing the whole pot together. But it wasn't until Talkie Walkie that I became a full-fleged fan. Whereas the debut, Moon Safari, and the band's soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides were both seductive serenades, there was always an element of songness missing from them. On Talkie Walkie, however, it is precisely this element that holds center court, its pulsating heart generating blood for the rest of the components to live off of.
From opener "Venus" to single "Cherry Blossom Girl," babymaking melodies and summer's eve hormones permeate the delicious verses and choruses, sinking them deep into your brain and your hips. Your pelvis can't deny their sensuality, your humming can't escape their hooks. On instrumentals "Mike Mills," "Alpha Beta Gaga," and "Alone in Kyoto" (the last on the soundtrack to Coppola's Lost in Translation), the duo sculpt rain drops out of keys and synths, whistles and scratches, somehow reinventing their own romantic formula into Eno-esque soundscapes without losing any sexuality. It's as if a painting of a naked woman was melded into a landscape of a mountain, but you can still feel her curves amongst the peaks.
Talkie Walkie is the band's finest work to date. Between Air and Tahiti 80, I'd say the French make just about the sexiest damn music today.