10,000 Hz Legends



by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
January 21st, 2006 | 9 replies

Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Air is an electronic or electro-pop band that emerged onto the scene in 1998. The french duo released their debut album "Moon Safari" the same year and it is considered a classic by many fans, including myself. Although their first album was brilliant, the band's third album, "10,000Hz Legend," was quite different from the band's usual synth-pop sound. I've been an Air fan for many years and if you are a fan of "Moon Safari" or "Talkie Walkie," you might not exactly enjoy this album.

Air haven't traveled away from their poppy electronic roots, but they have changed things up. The music featured here is less catchy and has a lot more atmospheric art rock influences. Air combines relaxing electronica music with atmospheric art rock. The result: a mellow, relaxing, and even depressing electronic album. While some songs have some bright poppy moments, "10,000Hz Legends" is a gentle album with more dreary moments than upbeat ones. I don't think that I like this change. Although the songs all have a melancholy feel, the music doesn't work well because Air try to combine pop with melancholy music. The pop influences get in the way, and this leads to a lot of unneeded synths, and other arrangements. While this is happening, the music still remains subtle, gentle, and even depressing.

The music here is for those who want some atmospheric electronic music; this is not a synth-pop album. "10,000Hz Legend" strives if you want some melancholy, peaceful, and gentle music. The big problem with this album is that it seems dull and uninspired. Although this is soft electronic music, there seems to be no energy; a lot of these tracks drag on very long considering that most of them are five minutes and up. A few of these tracks recycle the same riffs over and over again. This doesn't occur too often, but it is obvious in a few songs and it really feels like Air is slacking off. Once again, this is a solid ambient album but when it comes to creativity and song structure Air just don't get the job done.

Air uses a bunch of instruments yet their music remains simple and ambient. The instruments used range from acoustic guitars, keyboards, pianos, flutes, saxophones, and violins. None of these instruments stand out with the exception of the keyboard, they all play simple arrangements and together they create soft, beautiful, ambient music. The main instrument would be the synthesizer. It plays a big role in the album and dominates most of the sound, playing basic chords, scales, and cadences to create simple yet effective synth sounds and bubbly effects. Next in line would be the flute and the saxophone. These two brass instruments give the music a more atmospheric and spacey feel; without these two instruments the sound would be dull and it would lose its soft, space like touch. The string arrangements are simply beautiful, they obviously add a mini orchestra and make this album even more atmospheric and dark. Once again these arrangements play simple music, but everything ties together to create an ambient, atmospheric feel.

The vocals are simply incredible. Now there can either be a male, or a female vocalist, it switches off quite a bit. First I'll start off with the male vocalists. They really have beautiful, gentle voices that fit the music perfectly. Nicholas Godin has a mellow, soothing, and high-pitched voice, and he keeps everything soothing and smooth. Female vocalist Beth Hirsch has an amazing voice. She has a mellow, relaxed, and jazzy voice fitting the ambience of this album perfectly. I think that Air slightly misuse the vocalists talents. While they both sing on nearly all the tracks, they never put the vocalists together. This would be amazing, and once again I think that the band was really slacking off. All in all the vocals are a wonderful experience; they are gentle and beautiful.

Overall this album was a huge disappointment. "10,000Hz Legend" is a huge departure from the bands previous albums musically and instrumentally. That being said this album does have its high points. The vocals are excellent, both Beth and Nicholas have soothing voices that mix well with the ambience of the album. Another high point would be that the album is very ambient, this makes great background music and it is ultra relaxing. That's about it for the highlights. This album just lacks energy, and substance. These songs are ambient and mellow, but the electro-pop influences have seemed to almost disappear and when they do appear they appear in odd spots during ambient sessions. "10,000Hz Legend" is a dark, dreary, mellow electronic album, and it features hardly any pop moments and has lost a lot of energy. While this isn't a bad album I'm left with the impression that Air either tried something new, or just didn't really care at all.

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user ratings (115)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 21st 2006


I hate these guys. Good review though.

January 21st 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Even though they refer to themselves as 'electronic performers' it's better not to think of Air as being electronic music. Regardless of the methods they use, which are largely electronic, they really have thier own style.

This album has some great songs. But it has enough low points to keep it from being great.

It's worth mentioning that Beck contibuted on two tracks.

Electronic Performers, People In The City, and Don't Be Light are great songs. The rest range from average to above average.

I would still recommend this album if you like other Air albums... but if you aren't familiar with Air this isn't the right album to start on.

January 21st 2006


Honestly Zebra, you could've reduced this review to maybe 3 paragraphs. You repeat yourself too much, it just gets boring for me to read it. You end the three middle paragraphs with sentences beginning wiht 'once again', I don't think you need to repeat yourself so much. Your reviews are more like essays, they all have topic sentences and concluding sentences, they're not fun to read.

January 21st 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

I don't think that I should reduce the length because everyone one of my paragraphs emphasizes a certain aspect of the album weather it is instruments, vocals, or an overall sound of the album.

I do realize were you are coming from, this isn't a very good review but I think it gets the main point accross. I agree with you that this is a dull review but I think it gets the point accross to those who are interested in the album.

Thanks for the helpful advice, I'm glad you told me what I did wrong instead of bash the review. This Message Edited On 01.21.06

February 9th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Air is great. And this album is, in my veiw their best. They are different and I can see alot of people not likeing them. But.... give them the credit they desserve.

Liberi Fatali
February 25th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I actually quite liked this album, although I appear to be a minority in that regard. It has nothing on Premiers Symptomes or Moon Safari, but I still found it an interesting album.

I just wish somebody would review Premiers Symtomes.

February 25th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

I completely disagree with you about this album, this may be because it was the first AIR album i heard but i still enjoy it far more. The beauty of some the songs like Radian and my personal favourite Sex Born Poison completely contrast the darkness and drearyness of tracks such as Wonder Milky Bitch.

In my opinion some of the tracks on this album are so good they transcend the poppy hits of Moon Safari and Talkie Walkie because, well, you can't listen to those and feel that you the band have taken you to the edge of space and back, like they do in 10,000hz Legend.

August 17th 2011


the second part of people in the city is surprisingly industrial a first one for air, radio #1 and electronic performers are great songs too

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