Reviews Air Pocket Symphony

Air

Pocket Symphony

You know those bands that everyone talks about but you never get the chance to check them out? This is one of those cases. I never knew anyone who listened to Air on any regular basis, and bands that have extremely simple names never really seem to stick in my mind. Plus, when I hear the word electronica, it doesn’t exactly send me running to the nearest Tower Records (yes, they’re all gone, but I like to keep the spirit alive). But, luckily for me, I’m an adventurous listener, and I decided to check out Air’s newest effort, Pocket Symphony.

For those who don’t know, Air is a French duo usually dubbed as electronica, and they don’t stray too far on their latest effort. You might recognize Air songs from their 1998 soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides or one of their tracks placed in various commercials and TV shows over the years. This is their first release since their 2004 spastically-reviewed album, Talkie Walkie.

The opening track, “Space Maker,” begins with a lone echoing percussion beat, setting the tone perfectly. Slowly, an acoustic guitar, a piano, and a bass line come in and work together to really just bring a foggy afternoon to mind. Different keyboard sounds give the track an electronic overtone, but the melodies are softer than what you would expect. This leads into “Once Upon a Time,” the first track on the album to have any singing. Similar melodies work perfectly with the quiet female vocals, dripping in a French accent.

Pocket Symphony holds itself together pretty well throughout. There are a few songs that hold true to Air’s earlier sound to satisfy those disappointed with their last full-length release. There are also a handful of songs like “Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping” and “Night Sight” that you can’t help but compare to American contemporaries like the Album Leaf. The album seems to touch on all kinds of sub-genres and pull it off; “Left Bank” almost sounds like an Elliott Smith outtake.

I’ll be honest; I didn’t know much about Air before I picked up this album this past spring. But Pocket Symphony definitely won me over with the soft melodies and vocals combined with an ambient electronic feel. Perhaps this is not what long-time fans expected, but I think that it’s a solid album standing on its own. Not all the songs are perfect, but if you’re a fan of Air’s brand of ambient, electronic-heavy melodies, there’s no way you can turn your back on it.

8.6 / 10Campbell
Advertisement
Rev sale
Leave a comment

8.6 / 10

8.6 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Recent reviews

Ali Muhareb

Existentially Wasted

8.0 / 10 Ali Muhareb - Existentially Wasted album cover

The concept of being “existentially wasted” seems somewhat appropriate in the context of increasingly confused (and confusing) modern society. It's a concept that could easily have been born out of ...

The Hussy

Galore

8.0 / 10 The Hussy - Galore album cover

Why have children when I can just listen to my music and watch the bands change and grow instead? First they learned to stumble, then to walk, and finally to ...

Baroness

Purple

8.9 / 10 Baroness - Purple album cover

Through their career, Baroness has spawned a series of excellent works. From their early Mastodon-ian EPs to the evolution of their own unique sound with Red Album and Blue Record ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.