ALBUM REVIEW: “Le Voyage Dans la Lune” by Air

February 06. 2012 | By Sean Morris

Air
Le Voyage Dans la Lune
[Astralwerks]

With each subsequent Air release, one is never certain if Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel are going to portray intergalactic Lotharios or conduct confounding experiments. An extended version of their score for a hundred and ten year-old silent science fiction film screams “confounding experiment,” but the French band’s Le Voyage Dans la Lune is surprisingly accessible.

The thunderous opening of “Astronomic Club” evokes a James Bond title sequence before dissolving into buzzy psychedelia. “Seven Stars” perfectly casts Beach House‘s Victoria Legrand as a moon goddess, serenading the piano melody soaring through a galaxy of skittering drums and electronic beeps. The former robotic lounge lizards continue to improve their uptempo songwriting craft with “Parade,” a cheerier take on the sinister eroticism of “Dead Bodies” from their masterwork, The Virgin Suicides. Standout track “Moon Fever” (an unofficial remix of Fatboy Slim‘s “Right Here, Right Now”) vividly depicts weightlessness and desolation. “Sonic Armada” imagines an ostentatious Tony Banks mellotron solo as performed by a sentient program. Despite a cameo from Air‘s trademark boudoir bass guitar, carnality is noticeably absent, either out of respect to the chaste source material or as an apology for the joyless sex of 2009’s Love 2. Vous êtes pardonnés.

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