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Talkie Walkie

Talkie Walkie

4.3 12
by Air

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The French are a contrary lot. And Air haven't exactly made it easy on fans as of late. The Prozac melodies of their classic debut, Moon Safari, yielded to the hangover hell of 10,000 Hz Legend and a well-intentioned but impenetrable score to an audio book in Italian. The good news is that,


The French are a contrary lot. And Air haven't exactly made it easy on fans as of late. The Prozac melodies of their classic debut, Moon Safari, yielded to the hangover hell of 10,000 Hz Legend and a well-intentioned but impenetrable score to an audio book in Italian. The good news is that, with Talkie Walkie, Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel aren't mad at us anymore. Without rehashing the billowy tunes of their debut, the pair deliver the direct melodies, retro textures, and precision arrangements that earned them so many fans in the first place. The challenge, of course, is that Moon Safari was sui generis, sounding like nothing around at the time, while nowadays, the album's influence is everywhere, from Zero 7 to Daft Punk. Fortunately, the duo seem to have realized that they need not try so hard to deliver for fans. There are some more advanced arrangements -- "Surfing on a Rocket" is propelled by an intricate web of guitars and whispered vocals. And the more abrasive textures and desultory moods of 10,000 Hz crop up as well, notably on the gloomy "Another Day," which views the implacable march of time with Gallic pitilessness. "Alpha Beta Gaga" begins with some angry oscillating keyboards before settling into a sunny groove replete with Andy Griffith Show whistling and even a banjo. Perhaps the finest of these musical bonbons is the track Air wrote for the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation: "Alone in Kyoto" is a breathy mix of voices and guitars that puts Air's gifts for expressing ennui and emptiness in their most flattering light.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Artistic development doesn't always improve an artist's work, as the members of Air discovered when their second album, 2001's 10,000 Hz Legend, disappointed fans and critics expecting another pop masterpiece to rank with their debut, Moon Safari. 10,000 Hz Legend buried the duo's clear melodic sense underneath an avalanche of rigid performances, claustrophobic productions, and a restless experimentalism that rarely allowed listeners to enjoy what they were hearing. Gone was the freshness evident on Moon Safari: the alien made familiar, the concept that electronic dance could be turned into a user-friendly medium, the illustration of simplicity and space as assets, not liabilities. Fortunately, Air learned from their mistakes -- or, at least, their limitations -- leading up to the recording of third album Talkie Walkie, and the happy result is a solid middle ground between both of their previous records. The features are kept to a minimum and the tracks are constructed to sound no more complex than they need to be, even though Air risk the assumption that Talkie Walkie is a simple album. While there's nothing present to compete with the plodding glory of "Sexy Boy," Talkie Walkie ultimately succeeds because of Dunckel and Godin's renewed contentment to produce the tracks they do better than any other -- ones with a surface prettiness but no great depth. (It's no mystery why they've been tapped for several scores.) Ironically, the one track here that shrugs off the simplicity of electronic pop is a track first heard in a film, "Alone in Kyoto," an impressionistic string piece originally composed for the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
1/2 On their excellent Talkie Walkie, Air return to what they do best: elegantly moody soundtrack music for imaginary films.
Entertainment Weekly - Michael Endelman
The dreamy space pop will have you floating in the clouds, if not above them. (A-)
Tracks - Pat Blashill
This is deliciously fluffy make-out music that laughs with you, not at you.

Product Details

Release Date:
Parlophone (Wea)

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Air   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Michel Colombier   Piano
Jason Falkner   Bass
Brian Reitzell   Ride Cymbal
Joey Waronker   Percussion
Jean-Benoît Dunckel   Group Member
Nicolas Godin   Group Member
Malik Mezzadri   Flute
Lisa Papineau   Vocals
Darrel Thorpe   Street Sounds
Jessica Banks   Vocals

Technical Credits

Michel Colombier   String Arrangements
Nigel Godrich   Producer,Engineer
Claude Gassian   Cover Photo
Air   Producer
Jean-Benoît Dunckel   Composer
Nicolas Godin   Composer
Yann Arnaud   Engineer
Richard Prince   Cover Art

Customer Reviews

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Talkie Walkie 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was at Barnes & Noble the other day and I decided to listen to a sample of "Talkie Walkie". Air's last studio album (that didn't involve a movie) "10,000 ghz" left me a bit underwhelmed. After all I adored "Moon Safari" to pieces. I re-discovered my love for Air through the "Lost in Translation" soundtrack with their song "Along in Kyoto", a sparse yet melodic song which fit the mood of the film perfectly. So I listened to the samples of "Talkie Walkie" and I immediately fell in love with its lush, melodic songs. Granted "Talkie Walkie" is no "Moon Safari" but it certainly contains some of the most beautiful music in the realm of techno music. So I bought the cd. After listening to the entire album a few times, I felt like that I was in heaven. All the songs on "Talkie Walkie" are great. It is truly one of the great albums (so far) to
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just purchased this CD from bn.com. While trying to import it into iTunes so I could listen on my iPod, I discovered the first track would not import correctly. The track produced has about 3 minutes, 10 seconds of silence before the music begins, then music until the 4:04 mark. At this point I noticed the CD case does not have the "compact DISC digital audio" logo. I did some research, and discovered this title employs some sort of copy protection. I'm going to try to return it. Caveat Emptor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How do they do it? Opening track 'Venus' sounds so simple I almost think it's something I could have come up with if you'd locked me in a room with nothing but plenty of coffee and a keyboard. And yet it sounds out of this world. The answer lies in the details, the subtleties, the magic in the spaces between those hypnotic piano notes. And what a sound. Talkie Walkie has got to be one of the most immediate albums I've heard in absolutely ages. It seduces instantly for its first five tracks and its beautiful closer, and not before long, the other four tracks won me over too. 'Venus' is just so divinely lovely, with warm atmospheres of synth drifting here, there and everywhere, while 'Cherry Blossom Girl' is very Air sounding, but instead of descending into self-parody it becomes another classic single by the group, all fluttering, delicate melodies, and gently spectacular ambience. But it's with 'Run' that the album takes off into the stratosphere. It's like a cross-breed of Laurie Anderson's 'O Superman' with 10cc's 'I'm Not in Love', with vocals that are repeated endlessly before melting into a universe of pure sound that's really staggering and quite beautiful. 'Universal Traveller' is the album's first true moment of sheer serenity, a lovely, charmingly naive ditty that boasts layers of synth that are the musical equivalent of sunlight on water, or moonlight on the snow, with its 'so far away....' refrain that just chills and warms in equal measure. 'Mike Mills' is a pretty instrumental, getting better and better as it progresses, whilst the fantastic 'Surfing on a Rocket' is the albums most obvious single after 'Cherry Blossom Girl', with a stronger emphasis on hooks and melodies. 'Just Another Day' is slighter but brilliantly weird, and 'Alpha Beta Gaga', a surprise single, brings back whistling and banjo playing to the mainstream, with engagingly quirky results. 'Biological' is the longest song, very moody and very beautiful, with another banjo appearance that in theory shouldn't work, but really does. And then there's 'Alone in Kyoto', which is the most un-selfconsciously beautiful piece of music Air have ever created. A lot of their time the band have flirted with pastiche and heartfelt sincerity, but this track is firmly settled in the latter. Used to lovely effect in Sofia Coppola's stunning film Lost in Translation, it evokes scenes of chilly beauty and sheer peaceful calm, ending a classic album on a very sweet note. Easily their most fully realised, relaxed and confident album to date, Talkie Walkie is the best new album I've heard this year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Such great album in traditions of Air!!! Cherry Blossom Girl rules! That French accent is breathtaking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Watching "Lost In Translation", I was struck by the evocative music. I bought a copy of "Talkie Walkie" and became an instant fan. I'll definately be buying their previous cds. Atmospheric and unique ...I'm hooked!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think almost always Nigel godrich makes an excellente work and with great bands and persons, I really think this album its great, it is so good thath it seems tha i have listen to a bunch of songs before, but i didnt. I highly recomended it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Best album ever made in the music history!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was in a Barnes & Noble and I heard this cd playing. I was amazed. I would have never in my life bought this CD had I not heard it at B&N. I don't know what else to say except it's GREAT!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Talie Walkie is one tight-as-hell album, though im sick of people dissing 10,000 Hertz Legend cuz that was tight too, but anyways...peep this album cuz it is just reall tight and relaxin,and the song "RUn",pure ingenious, though slightly eerie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a great album, but it sucks big-time! It's probably the best album I've ever heard, but unfortunately it's so bad that my ears hurt when I'm listening to it.