Moon Safari

Dancing About Architecture

Five Days in the Life of a Record Review

Feb. 12: Bought an album that was near the top of all the 1998 critics' polls: Air (French Band), Moon Safari. Feeling cheated. This is elevator music, for crying out loud, except that the elevator ride lasts for 43 minutes. This is a joke, right? Sample lyric: "How'd you do it?/How'd you find me?/How did I find you?/ How can this be true?/To be held and understood." Would it have been asking too much to have them sing their sappy words in French? Cheesy synthesizers too. What was I thinking? I am an idiot. I am a full-blown idiot. Rating: 3

Feb. 14: Ah, life. Is there anything better than declaring one's love on Valentine's Day and having your loved one respond with the same declaration? Of course when you've got supreme wooing skills, as I have, romance has a way of always finding you. I understand the Air album now: it's the sound of being in love. Their lyrics really speak to me. If Roxy Music had been any good they would have sounded like this, but I bet they would have only been able to pull it off if they had been French. What do the British know about love songs, or rock and roll for that matter? Rating: 9

Feb. 15: Sigh. Turns out she just wants to be friends. She said I misunderstood. My world is cold and bleak. I'm having trouble breathing. And frankly this Air record really bites. Now I realize that the band's subtitled declaration of origin was meant as a warning. Exactly how many great French rock and roll bands can you name? I'll bet the French invented Valentine's Day too. I wouldn't put it past them. Rating: 3

Feb. 23: I've started eating again. The hallucinations are down to a minimum. Nobody understands what I'm going through, except in a strange way Air does. They are feeling my pain. "To be held and understood," that really speaks to me. The synthesizers are elegant and cliched at the same time, and somehow that's exactly how I feel. If ELO had been French (i.e., if they had been any good), they would have sounded like this. Rating: 7

March 2: The landlord has cut off my heat. Something about back payments, so said the fascist. The jokes on him though, because it's already March. I've only got a couple cold nights left. Come summer he's going to have to smoke me out. Finally getting over my failed romance. Really seems absurd now that I felt so passionate about someone I hardly knew. Romance is a lie, basically. I know this now. Somebody should tell it to Air, because frankly their lyrics are pure schmaltz. "To be held and understood," give me a break. This is a joke, right? Sure, they've got some decent tunes, but those cheesy synthesizers are really starting to annoy me. I don't care much for French food either. Way too rich for my tastes. Rating: 5