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October 1, 2014

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CD review: Air

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The Details

Air
Le Voyage Dans la Lune
Four stars

Air are movie soundtrack vets—their 2000 score to The Virgin Suicides is considered essential—but they’ve outdone themselves with Le Voyage Dans la Lune. An album-length project that arose after the French duo was commissioned to score the 1902 short film of the same name, La Lune is appropriately evocative and mysterious.

The mostly instrumental collection dabbles in loopy ’70s funk-rock (“Sonic Armada”), progged-out classic rock (“Lava”), piano-dominated, soft-glow electro (“Moon Fever,” the percussion-heavy “Décollage”) and orchestral post-punk (“Seven Stars,” which also features languid, tornadic vocals from Beach House siren Victoria Legrand). Even creepier is “Who Am I Now?”—breathy, vaguely ominous vocals from Brooklyn indie-popsters Au Revoir Simone, trembling strings and a waltz tempo combine to create a nightmarish lullaby.

La Lune avoids monotony thanks to these distinct moods and lively, engaging compositions—and ultimately, it’s a success even apart from its cinematic accompaniment.

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