Thursday, February 12, 2004


Talkie Walkie

The French make everything look so damn easy. For an American, being sexy takes a significant amount of time. For the French, all they have to do is get out of bed. Listen to a Parisian woman say, "where is the bathroom" and she has said the most beautiful and poetic phrase you have ever heard. On the other hand, when a New Yorker says, "I love you," it sounds like "where is the bathroom."

So then, why should their music be any different? Shouldn’t it sound effortless like a Sunday afternoon, yet simultaneously as seductive and sensuous as a Saturday night? Jean-Benoit Dunkel and Nicolas Godin, the duo otherwise known as Air, know this to be the true. In fact, on their brilliant debut, Moon Safari, Air introduced the les’ctronica sound en masse to make-out sessions everywhere. With an album full of synth-illating songs like "Sexy Boy" and "Kelly Watch the Stars," Air became the best French musical import since Les Miserbles.

Now, with Talkie Walkie, their first proper album in three years, Godin and Dunkel are back and hotter than Freedom Toast. After a disappointing 10,000 HZ Legend, their second album of self-indulgent poop, they return to churning out fluffy rice cake pop. Songs like "Run" and "Universe Traveler" could pass as outtakes from a 70’s science fiction film soundtrack; short on special effects yet seamlessly floating in zero gravity. Then the distorted colorful hues of "Alpha Beta Gaga" and "Alone In Kyoto" create a muted atmosphere of delicateness. They are audible aquariums, full of wave-like reflections and swimming notes poured out from their instruments. Inevitably, these are the songs that Sofia Coppola listened to while she was parting ways with Spike Jonze. Because these songs tends to relax, arouse, sooth, seduce, depress and decompress. Moreover, despite uber-producer, Nigel Godrich, at the helm, Talkie Walkie never challenges or burdens. It’s that effortlessness that makes this an album one to fall in love with.

Damn the French. Looks like they’ve done it again.


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