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February 2, 2004

{     Air: "Talkie Walkie" (Astralwerks)     }    

I first heard "Talkie Walkie" at Drag City, where I am a lousy, useless intern one day a week. Sez label owner Rian Murphy (when queried as to what he's playing on the coveted stereo), "It's the new Air record." The employee who inquired remarks oh-so nonchalantly, "Sounds hot." Rian snappily retorts, "It's a hell of a lot better than the last one." I agree, but not because I'm one of those people who couldn't fully accept 2001's "10,000 Hz Legend" due to the fact that it didn't sound exactly like "Moon Safari." (These nonprogressive types need to move on in to Air's 21st century. It is a sneaky and coy place to live; a place where one might twirl their moustache.) There is no definite single, not even a "Radio #1" or "Sexy Boy." This is fine. "Talkie Walkie" doesn't boast prominent guest vocalists; in other words, no Beck or Buffalo Daughter. They still use touring buddies Jason Faulkner and percussionist Joey Waronker, and the female vocalists can barely be differentiated from the whispery voices of the men of Air. So, why should you want to listen to the new record again? 2004 finds Air to be even more sexy and shy, inquisitive yet downcast. The song that I'm willing to bet yearns to be the lead-off single is the fantasy-oriented ode, "Surfing on a Rocket." If this is not fitting enough for your evening dance party, then how about the goofy and weird whistling buzz of "Alpha Beta Gaga?" You can even get your middle school slowdance on to the romantic battle-of-the-sexes clash "Venus," or there's "Cherry Blossom Girl," which has a robotic and eerie call and response. "Another Day" plods along with a jerky space odyssey tone beat, which fits perfectly with the cool detachment of the rest of the record. Normally I would dislike their using "Alone in Kyoto," which can also be found on the soundtrack for "Lost in Translation" (seems lazy to me), but here it works as the final, plaintive song. "Talkie Walkie" is nearly a smooth and seamless concept, and while it is less playful and fun than prior releases, it is clamoring to be something new, not another "Moon Safari" protege. Thank heavens.... Turns out this cd also comes with a bonus DVD, which features a short film called "Electronic Performers." This movie is put together by someone named Bruno Dunckel (must be a relative of band member Jean-Benoit Dunckel, because it's just a fairly boring short live perfomance. Hurray for nepotism!). Still, bonus features are always nice to have, and usually this vindicates you paying over 15 dollars for a cd! Contributed by Claire Buxton

     » Buy it...


Fuck paying more than fifteen bucks for any cd!
I found this at for 13.99, (that's the limited dvd included version too!). Here's the link for cut-and-paste lazy-asses:

Posted by: A. Delacroix at February 2, 2004 5:23 PM

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