Release Date: Mar 6, 2007
Record label: Astralwerks
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Electronic
Review Summary: Relying more on atmosphere than catchiness, Pocket Symphony is an entrancing piece, capturing Air doing away with pop songs with little complaint to be heard. Quote:Originally Posted by Nicolas GodinWe realize we can write a song with just a sentence that you can repeat in the chorusSound familiar? If so then you probably know the Air that has lead up to this point. The previously mentioned "haiku" approach to songwriting combined with cool atmospheres have been a formula for success so far for the band.
After once defining Gallic ambient pop, Air have taken all manner of detours from the ill-advised pomp-rock of 2001's 10,000 Hz Legend to, finally, ending up in Japan. The French duo's fifth album has been fashioned around far eastern classical instruments such as the koto (a Japanese floor harp) and shamisen (a Japanese banjo). However, they haven't quite abandoned trusty synths and electronic drums.
A mood is in the Air. French duo Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel have always been adept at creating emotion out of sound, but with Air's fourth proper LP, remnants of pop have been set ablaze in favor of instrumentalist ploys and lullabies. Familiarity resounds in "Once Upon a Time" and "Napalm Love," both of which touch on that coy French attitude toward love, but the real surprises live in "One Hell of a Party," featuring Jarvis Cocker's haunting vocal track and a hypnotic Japanese koto, and "Mer du Japon," sung in Air's native tongue.