Album Reviews



10,000 Hz Legend  Hear it Now

RS: 2.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4of 5 Stars


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Air, otherwise known as the Parisian duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, can make vintage synthesizers, drum machines and a clunky acoustic guitar or two sound like lovely little fluffy clouds. Their latest, 10,000 Hz. Legend, is like some deranged dim sum of sound: Some of it is tasty, most of it is weird and, ultimately, you will never know what your ears are eating. "Don't Be Light" is an ethereal keyboard jig that sounds like Ennio Morricone coming down from a rave. "Radian" is a stone-cool flute jam, lush with warm gusts of organ and a gorgeous string section that sweeps overhead like angels doing a drive-by. There's a palpable sense of wistfulness to the track, a moody blues that repeatedly surfaces on 10,000 Hz. Legend then disappears again. But this vague angst is the only thread that runs through every song, and when Beck drops by and ruins "The Vagabond" with the same minstrel-show Prince impersonation he sported on Midnite Vultures, one begins to wonder if this isn't a compilation of electronic performers instead of an album by one band. At times, Air seem bent on impersonating the alternative acid-rock impersonations of Ween, whom they have professed a love for - "Wonder Milky Bitch," with its deadpan vocals, Slinky sound effects and faux-bachelor-pad ambience, sounds like a parody of Serge Gainsbourg's decadent Franco-pop. Other tracks suggest that Godin and Dunckel have gone mental with their paste-up tools and constructed the whole album with the same cut-up poetry aesthetic that produced song titles like "Sex Born Poison." It's nice that 10,000 Hz. Legend sounds very little like Air's masterworks Premier Symptomes and Moon Safari. Unfortunately, it also sounds like Air trying very hard not to be Air. (RS 870 - June 7, 2001)


(Posted: May 14, 2001)


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