Air
Le Voyage Dans La Lune


3.5
great

Review

by Deviant STAFF
February 6th, 2012 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 14 years after Moon Safari the French comedown duo finally get to explore the lunar surface

It should come as no surprise that Georges Melies’ acclaimed Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon) would arrive in the same year as man’s attempt to reach the farthest points of the as-yet, undiscovered regions of the world: the 1902 Discovery Expedition. Here was a world now fully wrapped up in the wide-eyed wonderment of a new century, pre world war and economic breakdown, fresh from the marvels and discoveries of the industrial revolution, ready and waiting for the technological marvels earlier hinted at to be put to practical use. Melies’ film captured the imagination of a world eager to explore beyond its boundaries, to push the pursuit of the unknown one step further beyond the previously unimaginable. Putting aside its acclaim as the world’s first fully-fledged science fiction movie, it riveted a world already obsessed with what lay beyond our own skies, thanks largely in part to H.G. Wells’ War Of The Worlds, released only a few scant years earlier. Air’s latest release, part new LP and part quasi-soundtrack to the re-released and painstakingly reproduced 16 minute film attempts to capture that sense of adventure, that exhilarating nervousness at conquering the unknown. And while for the most part it finds itself successful, it does so in the most unorthodox of fashions.

Le Voyage Dans La Lune is an exercise in exploration, both in atmosphere and design. Built around the French duo’s respectable command of downtempo chillout and psychedelic rock (a love affair introduced on their second official full-length, 2001’s 10,000 Hz Legends), nods to the wandering mysticism of Pink Floyd and the comical synthesizer driven rock of the 60’s are also on full display. And while these jaunts into the deep swinging grooves of yesteryear have seen the duo veer wildly off course from their drugged out and sexed up beginnings, it oddly works here, however it ends up being perhaps a touch more charming and cute than anything truly honest – ‘Sonic Armada’ with its nonsensical squeals is on the one hand, a stroke of genius, and yet strangely grating at the same time. That it’s followed up by the masterstroke that is ‘Who Am I Now?’ (a collaboration with indie poppers Au Revoir Simone) is also calmingly unpleasant; the distinct transition between the two is absurdly jarring, given that the two pieces operate on completely different plains – one a rambling and rollicking bubblegum rock concoction of Scooby Doo proportions, the other a kaleidoscopic fairy tale that attempts to posit the notion that if here we are, in the heavens surrounded by the presence of gods, does that not make us gods ourselves?

But the payoff here is that Air are working under the guise of orchestration, providing illumination to silent anecdotes. As such, the album twists and turns, loosely returning to threads whilst in the midst of discovering new ones, playing along with the scene changes. And under that guise it allows the French duo to finally work to a consistent theme, something that they’ve apparently had a hard time adapting to recently. Working to a specific idea they excel, much in the same way as they did with their excellent interpretation of The Virgin Suicides. ‘Astronomic Club’ is all menace and foreboding, an overture that attempts to prey on the doubts of the perilous journey ahead, while by comparison ‘Decollage’ is the long overdue arrival, mysterious and tentative as the first steps in a strange new world.

As the long awaited return to form that Air have only hinted at on their last outings, Le Voyage Dans La Lune fails to contain enough evidence that Moon Safari wasn’t just the result of being in the right place at the right time, but it also shows that the duo are far from running out of ideas any time soon. It’s by no means the work of art that it accompanies, but it’s almost as endearing and charming as that begrudging look of acceptance on the countenance of the moon at the sight of its unwelcome guests.



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Chart.
3.1
good
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Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (3)
Passable, but then again when has passable been good enough?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


31362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

When the moon hits your eye etc

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


you could have let me do this one!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


31362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hear you don't write too good

Tarnished
February 6th 2012


364 Comments


who on air told you that?

see now thats good writing

Beachcoma
February 6th 2012


526 Comments


Yeah, once again this album is boooorroririrriring.

taylormemer
February 6th 2012


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

60's needs no appostrophe.

Killerhit
February 6th 2012


5254 Comments


I already reviewed this.

Where'd that end up, hm?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


31362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Post a legitimate stream next time, not some kid's youtube page

Killerhit
February 6th 2012


5254 Comments


That was enough to get it knocked down? Yeesh.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


31362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You can't review albums prior to release date unless there's a legitimate stream

This is common knowledge

aok
February 6th 2012


4440 Comments


pretty much agree with what you got here. would be surprised if they could ever top moon
safari
in my mind cause the atmosphere in that is so gorgeous. still this is very enjoyable,
especially since i don't generally like soundtracks. nicely done as usual sir

Jash
February 6th 2012


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Boring album is boring

aok
February 6th 2012


4440 Comments


sexy avatar is sexy

wabbit
February 6th 2012


7009 Comments


I like talkie walkie more than than air


a trip to the moon is fucking awful but I'll probably still get this.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2012


31362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


I like talkie walkie more than than air


wut

DarthMann
February 6th 2012


13815 Comments


hugo was a good movie

wabbit
February 6th 2012


7009 Comments


more than moon safari

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Where in the fuck is the Tonight, Tonight cover?

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2012


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is nowhere near Amatorski's soundtrack to 'Impatience', but it's still really good.

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

AggravatedYeti
February 7th 2012


7685 Comments


Love that album cover



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