Boston Weekly CD Reviews
The French duo Air owe less to the new, dance-friendly school of electronic music than to the old-school synthesizer tone tweakers of the '60s like Jean-Jacques Perrey (with whom they've collaborated) and '70s prog types like Cluster, whose cooled-out grooves melted into soundscapes. Air's instruments of choice are mega-cheesy old synths like clavinets and Moogs, which they use to fill their songs with coruscating Space Invaders sound effects. On a few tracks Nicolas Godin even employs a Vocoder. Air's specialty, though, is (of all the old-fashioned gimmicks) songwriting: "You Make It Easy" and "Talisman" have tricky, heart-tugging chords worthy of Burt Bacharach (there are occasional guest vocals by one Beth Hirsch, who sounds not unlike British folkie/Chemical Brothers collaborator Beth Orton). In places, the album gets so mellow it threatens to turn to pudding, but its lush throb is a pleasant soundtrack for late-night hallucinations.