on 30 May 2001
A rather grand departure from Moon Safari, gone are the kitsch ditties and gently melodies that Air are renowned for. Instead we are faced with an entirely different creature; dark and atmospheric masterpieces are the flavour du jour at Air HQ! Personally, there is nothing more amazing than to discover a group experimenting with sounds, technology and expanding upon their own musical limitations/repetoire; in this respect Air cannot be faulted. 10,000 Hz Legend is a demanding and complex album, full of layers and unusual charm, and cannot be fully appreciated after just one listening. You will have to persevere, but ultimately you will be rewarded. The single "Radio #1" is as "pop" as it gets, almost tongue-in-cheek material. "The Vagabond" featuring Beck is one of the album's many highlights, as is "Happy and Unlucky". "Radian" an instrumental piece - is something one would not expect of Air - has what can only be described as an immense sonic feeling to it and is truly an amazing song because of this. In short, the album is a "must" if you enjoy listening to an album for the first few times and thrive on feeling the "fear" of incomprehension... it will all make sense eventually, part of the Air masterplan no doubt. In a word, IMPRESSIVE!
on 22 June 2001
By the end of the year it'll be winning awards but it takes time to get into Air's latest offering. Smacks of Pink Floyd, The Stranglers and Serge Gainsbourg with those cheeky "air-like" elements from before make this is a sleeping classic, I can understand why the number of reviews has been limited as it's impossible to categorise. There are a number of stunning moments on this album, but because each track is so unique it takes a while before you get your head around the subtleties. Radian is a classic, and in many ways vintage AIR, Sex Born Poison is incredibly original as is Wonder Milky Bitch, who's hook gets under the skin on the third listen. The first track is simply brilliant, and having seen them open with it at a recent gig in London makes you realise just how talented these gallic chaps are. If you liked Moon Safari you'll love this album - eventually!
on 29 January 2004
To say this album is worse than Moon Safari does depend on whether you actually found Moon Safari to be any good in the first place. Yes, it was, but it was background music that required nothing from the listener. 10 000hz Legend may well be slightly harder to get into but it is music to actually listen to rather than to have as an accompaniment to holiday programmes and adverts.
Electronic Performers features stunning string arrangements and a fantastic thick sludgy texture, Sex Born Poison is probably the best song of all time with amazing robotic drums and beautiful vocals, and the rest all very good especially Radio #1, The Vagabond and Don't be Light.
There is no bad point to this album. Saying it's 'too Pink Floyd' is a bizarre comment as a) pink floyd are good, and b) however much they deny it, Air do sound pretty prog, and what is wrong with that?
Fusion of genres can only be a good thing, especially when it's as successful as this album.
on 1 June 2001
'Moon Safari' was a stunning first album - and the worry always is 'can they match that?' - although the soundtrack appeared in between this album has been worth the wait.
developing the sound, with the addition of more instrumentation and backing vocals, show the maturity and inventiveness of the duo - not just content to sit and reproduce a winning formula.
Starting from track #1 - 'electronic performers' the sound develops and enthralls - 'the vagabond', featuring Beck, is another stunner and the ethereal sounds of 'radian' just has you scanning the play-list to see what more surprises are in store and my do the surprises continue - reaching a peak withthe final track featuring instrumentation which would do many 'prog-rock' bands proud.
Even if you are not familiar with 'moon safari' buy this was a truly inspiring gallic experience
on 17 January 2002
Just got this for Christmas. Wasn't too sure what to expect because although I liked Moon Safari I found it all a bit too straightforward - pretty songs with some strange noises now and again. This, on the other hand, is completely different. It still has familiar Air trademarks but somehow they now sit as a cornerstone for something really original and special. These guys are excellent musicians and great song writers. It did take a while for me to appreciate this (a good ten listens or so) but now I am at that wonderful point between knowing the songs well enough to remember them and yet still discovering more each time I listen to them. And there is so much to discover...
on 15 November 2002
The French are famous for many things. Fine wines, fancy cheeses, clothes designers and famous philosophers have done the nation proud. There are however, several blots on the Gallic landscape which Jean-Pierre would rather we didn’t mention. Yes, we all know these by heart: garlic-breath, dirty tabs, berets, frog’s legs, and bloody awful music have made sure that France will never be seen as a génial place to be - that is not until five years ago.
In the mid-nineties something important happened to our favourite escargot munching chums that may well mitigate all the Joe le Taxis that had inexplicably been imposed on our sensitive British ears. No one knows quite why or how, but suddenly a whole new range of musical artists, among them Daft Punk, Stardust, Cassius, Mr. Oizo and Air started creeping onto the charts and dancefloors of our dear old blighty. Air’s first album, Moon Safari, went so far as to have the words “French Band” emblazoned onto the cover whilst still managing to maintain a high cool factor and also scoring very well in the national charts with tracks like Sexy Boy and Kelly Watch the Stars.
2001 and Air return with their second album proper, 10,000hz the Legend. Those who enjoyed Moon Safari are in for a possibly pleasant surprise. Whilst previous outings were largely lounge-based affairs with a cheese topping, 10,000hz is an all more weirded-out album, preferring to take its cues from the Moody Blues and Devo rather than George Clinton or Burt Bacharach. And what’s this? A dance album with lyrics on the inlay? Surely shome mishtake officer!
If this really is the fearfully awaited rebirth of Prog-Rock, then it’s surely not as bad as a lot of people may have had you believe. 10,000hz is arguably one of the most imaginative albums of the last five years, surprising the listener at every turn. With lyrics like “we need to use envelope filters to say how we feel” the opening track Electronic Performers, reeks of classic Kraftwerk, using a bubbling vintage beat and ebbing acoustic guitar to set the retro-futuristic mood of the album. The Kraftwerk references continue on How Does it Make You Feel?, an album highlight which combines a melancholy digitised whisper, and a full on prog chorus straight out of an ELO epic. Radio #1, Radian and People in the City are also excellent songs, mixing the best of Rock, Lounge, Avant-Electronica, Prog and New Wave whilst retaining Air’s unmistakeable style.
Sometimes Air seem a little too keen to push the envelope and there are a small handful of tracks which do not seem to gel properly with each other. Vagabond, with a guest appearance by Beck, seems out of sorts as a country-blues lament. Out of context, it’s an excellent track but it does seem to detract from the atmosphere of the rest of the album and Beck’s strong character presence seems to dilute Air’s moody Gaulish posturing.
So let us applaud this offering from across the water for giving us one of the most innovative albums of recent times. Suddenly gruyère and frog’s legs doesn’t sound so bad - err... maybe that’s going a bit far.
on 28 January 2004
If you play this album expecting another Moon Safari, you will be shocked. Because of this I was disappointed at first, but then I began to appreciate the album for what it was.
There are a handful of tracks that ruin the album. These are Radio #1, which sounds amateurish, Vagabond, a good track but it's completely out of place on this album, and Wonder Milky Bitch, which is just plain stupid!
But if you ignore these tracks you're left with a surprisingly good mix of tunes. Air have changed and evolved from their Moon Safari days and they announce their transition into their new electro style proudly with their opening track, Electronic Performers. And it pays off, with strong beats and good soundscapes. How Does it Make You Feel is similarly good but with a slower tempo. Some may not like the whispering in this tune but I think it sounds good.
There's a beautiful haunting sound on several of the tracks, such as How Does it Make You Feel, Lucky and Unhappy and Sex Born Poison. The latter, despite being quite a dark track, is my favourite of the album and has great female vocals in both French and English.
Radian is an epic track with a long slow build up and then a dramatic entry via some great sounding drums. It is one of only one or two tracks that sounds anything like Moon Safari, with its guitar, flutes and strings, and it's one about five outstanding tracks on this album. And for these alone I reckon it's worth buying.
on 5 March 2016
After so many years this is still one of my very favourite albums ever. First time I heard it when it came out I was disappointed, I suppose I predictably expected another moon safari, what a mistake..this was not instant gratification but worth so much more after more listening. The melodies are richer, instrumentals creative and layered...leading the way forward musically in a similar way to Radiohead's amazing ok computer! Radian is a masterpiece andthere are no 'fillers'' although a couple of songs are more poppy (radio #1, people in the city and dont be light) This album is art,a beautiful journey through strings and electronica with tongue in cheek humour and a genious dose of Beck thrown in too. Dont dismiss this album, it is worth initial perseverance. I loved it after about 10 listens and im still completely in love it 15years later.
on 21 February 2005
I bought this album on the grounds of Moon safari, that was bought on the grounds of my listening to Zero7, etc. And I love this one the most. Dark haunting electrics that flow along side the steady strum of gutairs. Not all the songs send tingles down the back but the ones that do, really do. This is an album for those who like the more haunting and atmospheric melodies in life as oppossed to the poppy 'Top of the pops' tunes that are advertised and pushed towards the masses. I recommend this album to the people who like real tunes, and that hate mass pop. Fans of the darker Depeche Mode will understand!
on 17 December 2006
i bought this album a couple of years back,after hearing moon safari.it was so bad,i took it back to the shop.a few years on,with my music tastes matured,i bought it again.its amazing.its rare i buy an album that i like every song on,but this is one of them.it totally blew me away.i usually pick numbers of tracks that are best,but all of this is good.number 7 is the stand-out track for me.such a small song,that turns into this huge,mind blowing orchestral number.buy it!