Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Air, album reviews, atlas studios, Jean-Benoît Dunckel, Love 2, Nicolas Godin, Releases of the Week
PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Air’s “Do the Joy” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts
As we have reminded over the past few months, Air’s much-anticipated Love 2 drops this week. The band’s first production at Atlas Studios, their very own recording facility, has left us with mixed emotions. By no means a failure, there is something missing from Love 2.
If you happen to be a fan of Air, you can probably recall that most of their work gives you that one hook — a melody that permanently imprints itself in your musical psyche: “Alpha Beta Gaga,” “Sexy Boy,” “Playground Love” and so forth. Unfortunately that is not the case with Love 2.
As expected the album is eerie, spacey and basically includes an upgrade to every sound you can imagine for this French duo to produce. To their credit Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel do move forward stylistically. However at the same time, they are moving too far. This album has tracks that are reminiscent of everything from an intro to a 90s anime show to a Humphrey Bogart detective film soundtrack. Making it sound a little overdone and indecisive, Love 2 feels like the pair can’t make up their minds as to which direction they are heading in, consequently confusing the listener.
The overall flow is mellow and it lacks the range that we know Air for. The only track that is mildly diverse from the rest is the viral single “Do The Joy,” the download that’s been circulating since early August. Generally tracks are very still, silent and just too long, making you feel like you are floating in a numb bubble.
Love 2 is definitely not the band’s best release, but it certainly has its highpoints. There are a couple of tracks that are remotely interesting and can actually be successful individually, apart from the rest of the album. Tracks like “Heavens Light” and “Love” have the most potential, but they tend to get lost in the general monotony of the rest of the release.
Devoted Air fans most likely won’t mind Love 2, but if their goal was to gain a wider audience, it was probably not the best attempt.