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This review is from: Pocket Symphony (Audio CD)
Now almost 10 years since the classic Moon Safari was released, Monsieurs Dunckel and Godin once again emerge from their Parisian bunker with another slice of Gallic-tinged soundscapes, whispy melodies and movie-like operatics.
Pocket Symphony is AIR's fourth `proper' album but unlike their criminally underrated prog experiment 10,000hz Legend and the slightly disappointing follow-up Talkie Walkie, this album has more in common with their motion picture soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides.
For the uninitiated Pocket Symphony might be difficult to like. There's none of the duo's breezy melodies of Moon Safari or the hard electronic stylings of 10,000hz. Indeed, there isn't even a hint of a `radio-friendly' track so forget anything as catchy as Cherry Blossom Girl here. Pocket Symphony is slow and stately, melancholy and sombre. Like most of AIR's output, it's upon repeated listenings that this album really starts to weave it's magic. This is an album that demands you invest time to explore it's sparse but somehow lush world.
Common person Jarvis Cocker and The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon provide guest vocals on One Hell of a Party and Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping, injecting both tracks with plenty of downbeat, weary understatement.
Pocket Symphony will probably appease fans desperate for new material but it may be just too impenetrable for newcomers. It's a fine album no doubt, although it certainly isn't easy.