Wednesday, January 27, 2010
37. Talkie Walkie – Air (2004)
(Taken from the SCQ Review:)
If the star-gazing Moon Safari and romantically androgenous 10000hz To Legend left listeners confused over who Air were, dew-eyed dreamers or electronic misfits, their third proper full-length proves they’re the former. Mixed and co-produced by the one and only Nigel Godrich, Talkie Walkie is a bedroom record of the highest order; a collection of love letters never sent because writers (Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin) can’t be bothered to toss their bedsheets for stamps.
The album opens with the dirge-slow ‘Venus’, a deliberate piano repetition with distant hand-claps that rises into a synth-driven haze. It’s a serious statement of forlorn love that turns on its head for ‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ where its acoustic-led sweetness shows a more positive outlook – even if that sought-after love is no closer to reality. How these songs interact on a musical and thematic level is indicative of all ten tracks here, as these compositions react to each other like a smoothly executed chemistry experiment; where the theme of longing fluctuates on mood, this sequence retorts by leaning on organic or electronic treatment. The glimmering digital tricks pulled on ‘Run’, a sensational chime-stitched production of seamless beauty, fade into the unplugged allure of ‘Universal Traveler’, etc. Due to the wide range of instrumentation – that, and this being some of Air’s finest songwriting ever - Talkie Walkie is continually fresh and enjoyable listening, with just enough mood to avert becoming too sweet.