air love 2
  • MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2009

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Love 2 is a sequel to nothing. Air shows it's age with an existential crisis bigger than an obsession with moog and ear friendly diet-pop. The schmaltz seems to be in season with the French electro-pop veterans, who dabble in just enough twinkle to hook, and not enough risks to enthrall.

Like notable Frenchies-who-singlish Phoenix, Air is au franscais and d'accord in my book for being so. However, in the way that Phoenix crossed into America to be better at pop rock music than our loser radio-darlings, Air crossed over from thirtysomething years ago in 1970's to... today, where no one uses all these vintage synths to make vintage elevator music. Points for authenticity, and funk, but really authentic funk has trouble making its way out of the hotel bar at the upstate New York Holiday Inn (but it's Earth Wind and Fire Kareokee night!). Seriously, tell me "Love" doesn't sound like an Orbit commercial. I guess you could say Air funked up.

My critical quandry is despite the artificial nostalgia, I like "Love," especially because of it's self-aware schmaltz. I love schmaltz! I even love saying it. I don't even know if it is appropriate for this situation. But where "Love" succeeds, many other songs here fail to reinvent the already re-reinvented retro-wheel. The robo-voices and squishy electronics are pretty old news, even for them as a stand alone entity.

No one is going to give Love 2 what I like to call the "Brooklyn bump," but they don't really need a bunch of bloggers peddling their latest work as the second coming of My Bloody Valentine. Pitchfork smeared Love 2 after first having a feature interview with the band, but also who cares? Air has a large body of work, and just because this isn't the best Air you'll hear forever doesn't mean it isn't worth a spin or two, especially for their already established fan base. Although we can all live without "Tropical Disease," a track as unappetizing as it's name. -joe puglisi




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