Love 2 Single
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Love 2 is the fifth studio album from internationally revered French electronic pop duo Air. It is the follow-up to 2007’s acclaimed Pocket Symphony, and the first production to emanate from Atlas, their very own state-of-the-art recording Studio.
Nestled in the leafy backstreets of northern Paris, Atlas provided a creative haven for the band to produce these twelve new songs. Writing and producing entirely by themselves, they have cemented their association with LA-based drummer/percussionist Joey Waronker, who had previously joined them for their intimate, three-man "Close up" tour of south-east Asia in the Autumn of 2008. Stéphane "Alf" Briat, a long-time fixture of the Paris music scene, whose work with Air dates back to some of their earliest material, also came on board for the mixdown at Atlas.
Air’s 1998 debut album Moon Safari struck a unanimously harmonious chord with music lovers around the globe and has since become an electronic pop classic. Since then Air have enjoyed many career-defining moments and accolades, both at home and abroad, and have written, produced and collaborated on a breathtaking array of music projects.
When Parisian duo Air broke through in 1998 with Moon Safari, they seemed exactly right for those relatively and eerily untroubled and prosperous times. Pop had reached a sort of hiatus, an interlude, in which their elegant tropicalia and retro-futurist antique synth tones were the most eloquent expression of what felt back then like the End of History, with nothing left to do but recollect pop's epic past in perfect, sound engineered tranquillity. But what's to be done with Air in 2009? Where do they sit? How effectively do they soundtrack our lives?
Love 2 does at least sound like a break with the Air of old, more detailed, evolved and upgraded. It represents an advance for Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel, in that this is the first time the pair have produced themselves, working out of their own Atlas studio. On opener Do The Joy they sound reinvigorated, differently coloured, full of fresh and rocky new intentions, working at a quicker, Krautrock-ish pace, which they attempt to sustain throughout the album. However, it's not long before they slip back into their old, albeit winsome habits, with the rhythm box and lush, incidental tones of Love, while So Light Is Her Footfall is a helium-light serving of blue-eyed soul soufflé.
Their battery of tricks and turns is a mix of old and new – the spangly electric keyboards, languid, bubbling wah-wah guitar and silvery, celestial analogue synth streaks of Night Hunter ride alongside the woofer-vibrating belching Moog of Be a Bee. But there are less successful stretches. The vocals of Heaven's Light might have sounded engagingly naïve once but now seem cloying. The lengthy Tropical Disease, meanwhile, sounds as mouldy and throwaway as a ten-year old papaya.
Air would probably be hurt at such criticism – they've clearly worked hard on the handcrafting and interweaving of this album, and that's clear enough on the lovingly collected menagerie of eclecticism that is Eat My Beat. The problem is, for all its sweet, elaborate guile and intelligent shading, the question of what Air really have of relevance to say or offer in the 21st century remains unanswered. --David Stubbs
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Top Customer Reviews
So that is Air really, that's what they've done, they went a bit electronic, some could say tried to be a bit to clever and they haven't really produced anything outstanding since. Good, oh yeah, of course, I've enjoyed all of the albums post Moon Safari. Loved them the same way. No, of course not.
This is a bit of a mish mash of all there stuff, not a massive mish mash, actually I'm lying, it's not a huge mish mash but the closest to Moon Safari since, well, Moon Safari. It's nice, it's not as good as Moon Safari and they mess it up a bit by adding a couple of heavy songs in there, I'm looking at you "Be A Bee"
There's not potential singles, mean when do Air really produce what you'd class as something that's going to rival Leona Lewis anyway, that's why we love them right?
Highlight though without doubt, Love, Heavens Light and the outstanding, breezy and strangely titled "tropical disease" which has got some lovely pan pipes on it.Read more ›
There is something for every Air fan on this, plenty of synth noodling, gorgeous melodies, radio friendly tracks, all done with their inimatable (OK much imitated) Gallic flair. No weak tracks, not sure why someone referred to "Night Hunter" as a weak track - it is classic old skool Air.
Whereas I was absolutely gobsmacked with horror at Zero 7's latest offering, I am delighted that Air have produced such a listenable and enjoyable experience. Moon Safari is what it is and I'm delighted they never went back to recreate it.
1. "Do the Joy" 2:59 (7 out of 10 stars)
Effective near instrumental.
2. "Love" 2:43 (7 stars)
Another decent near instrumental.
3. "So Light Is Her Footfall" 3:13 (7 stars)
It's alright, has some good little musical details in it like the backwards guitar. All a bit lightweight to be a single (they made a music video for it so I assume it was released as a single).
4. "Be a Bee" 3:45 (7 stars)
A more propulsive, rockier track. Has some short buried vocals so for all intents and purposes it's an instrumental.
5. "Missing the Light of the Day" 4:26 (4 stars)
A bunch of musical noises and hard to make out computer treated vocals. A bit of a tasteful mess musically.
6. "Tropical Disease" 6:47 (7 stars)
Up-tempo instrumental (there's some very brief vocals five minutes in). A bit basic and simple, lacking any left turns that you would expect from Air. A curiously straightforward track. It could almost be soundtrack music for an 80's detective programme (I'm picturing Bergerac even though I've never seen an episode).
7. "Heaven's Light" 3:51 (5 stars)
Indifferent vocal track. Completely forgettable.
8. "Night Hunter" 4:13 (5 stars)
A lot of interesting sounds on this instrumental but it doesn't really add up to a song. Pointless.
9. "Sing Sang Sung" 3:08 (5 stars)
Soft vocal song. Pretty but bland. Unimpressive, especially for a lead single.
10.Read more ›
However, after listening to the album through earphones, I started to hear the magic that makes this album so great. The subtle electronic sounds that take you first by surprise and then draw you back to hear them again, especially in the second half of the album, are just sublime. This album is a real grower so stick with it, put you earphones on and lose yourself in Air's Love 2 Subtle Magic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought to replace older formats of the same album in my collection - it was always going to get 5 stars!!Published 9 months ago by The Pantsman
As the title suggests it seems to be a range of songs about loves won and lost - musically it shouldn't disappoint fans.Published on 18 Mar. 2014 by Mark
After the 2007 album release 'Pocket Symphony' I was a little disappointed, sure, it's a good album but it didn't quite stand up to previous releases. Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2013 by Farhan Haq
I really liked this album, but couldn't give it 5 stars as it didn't blow me away. Really nice music to have on in the background, which isn't meant to be insulting!Published on 4 Jun. 2013 by Miss L. G. CAMPBELL
Having only heard Air a couple of times, it was a punt - but after listening to this album, which is great to chill to or entertaining, this is a choice not to be overlooked.Published on 10 Feb. 2012 by Brent Tuckerman
I thoroughly enjoyed Spacewalk and Talkie Walkie and this album is good but not quite as good as the others. Read morePublished on 15 July 2010 by Jenny - Healer