Album Cover
Talkie Walkie
January 27, 2004


You always have to wonder what exactly is being consumed over there in Frenchland. It's no secret these people are into, ya know, eating rats, dogs and any roaming vermin found under the baby's crib. What makes Air's new album Talkie Walkie so damn edible is the silky layering of piano on guitar on keyboard on soft vocals. That's not to say the sound is overly complex. In fact, most of the album is packed with simple ambient refrain. The focus seems to be on a processional of pure streamlined pop.

Will this be a new religion? The cult of Air? Built on images of the cosmos, science and the future? I don't think so. In fact, the transparency and weightlessness of the album is sometimes dragged down by the insistence on guitars. I guess it's tough to pluck the guitars out and throw them into the sea when it is so easy to add them to the lineup. "Surfin' On A Rocket" might fare better without the ubiquitous instrument. Call me a purist.

A notable difference between this and past projects by Air is they've decided to do the vocals by their lonesome(s). The lyrics are sung in a gorgeous silky tenor that borders on a semi-androgynous Björkian lilt. What's being said isn't as important as the delivery. But the things being spoken are nice if not prophetic.

The group has been quoted to say, "We build our music to clean ourselves." There is an obvious soothing quotient within. Something that sorts itself out in milieu romantics. Having been aided by the help of production duties of Nigel Godrich, (Radiohead) the album surpasses their previous effort, Moon Safari. This album finds them putting more of the pop in the ambiance.

Something does worry me about the record. I do think my mom might actually mistake this for her latest Enya disc on several of the tracks, most notably "Universal Traveler." In which case I sorta feel like a middle/new-aged housewife reconnecting my soul with the universe. Damn, better turn my hat backwards and pump that death-metal.

Jacob Daley

Track List

  1. Venus
  2. Cherry Blossom Girl
  3. Run
  4. Universal Traveler
  5. Mike Mills
  6. Surfin' on a Rocket
  7. Another Day
  8. Alpha Beta Gaga
  9. Biological
  10. Alone in Kyoto