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Air | Love 2

Warner Bros. (2009)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 5, 2009
2.0 2.0 Stars


The French duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel captured the imagination of a subset of the listening public at the turn of the millennium with their playfully patient soundtrack music (for films both real and imagined) — vivid Quaalude fantasies that would contrast with the confrontational electronic jitters that stormed out of France half a decade later. In some ways, fantasy has become reality for the Air duo, as they've camped up in their own Atlas Studios and gotten lost in a world of wall-to-wall vintage synths — think Heart of Darkness starring Esquivel.

Whether their madness is a good or bad thing depends on your tolerance for really, really smooth jams. Most listeners could probably handle the groovy opener, "Do the Joy"; it's at the midpoint that the gauntlet is thrown, with the tolerance tester "Tropical Disease," a nearly-seven-minute island excursion with an extended pan-flute solo. By this point, Air's particular brand of electronica has been bleached free of any trace of angst.

The jaunty bounce of the ditty (and it is a "ditty") "Sing Sang Sung" is effective pop music in the same way a jingle for fabric softener is — mostly because Air's music passes through you instead of hitting you with any concepts or conceits. And like any great jingle, it leaves you with nothing but a vague craving for the product, without quite knowing why you need it.

Related: Pulp friction, A Good Year, Groundbreakers, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , France, Jean-Benoit Dunckel, Nicolas Godin,  More more >
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 See all articles by: DANIEL BROCKMAN

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