SO HIP THEY’RE passé, sexy geekboys Air continue to mine the seam of elegiac futurism wowed ten thousand ad executives back in ’98. After the delicious sadness of 2004’s Talkie Walkie, however, Dunckel and Godin are in danger of disappearing into the wallpaper of ambient candy – or merely of Sofia Coppola soundtracks. Even with the deployment of Japanese instruments and with guest vocal spots from Jarvis Cocker (‘Hell of a Party’) and Neil Hannon (‘Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping’), Pocket Symphony drifts inconsequentially along, hovering around themes of desire and alienation that sound as stale as an old baguette. Moments of cool beauty (‘Photograph’, ‘Mer du Japon’) nonetheless adorn the album.
© Barney Hoskyns, Uncut, June 2007