Talkie Walkie comes five years after their landmark Moon Safari and Parisian mood-enhancers Air are back doing what they do best. Famously shy of ever repeating themselves, JB Dunckel and Nicolas Godin have filled in the years with the poorly received follow-up, 10,000hz Legend (even they think it strange), and an eerily effective soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's Virgin Suicides. Nice enough in their own niche way, but a far cry from what people actually wanted.
Happily, Talkie Walkie reunites us with the Air that we love: two hopelessly indulgent romantics with an ear in the past and an eye on the future. It's meltingly good stuff--a collection of cool, cosmic pop songs that dispense with notions of time and space, wallowing instead on a cloud of poignant psychedelia. With vocal duties this time taken by the boys themselves, and gorgeously fragile strings courtesy of Serge Gainsbourg collaborator, Michel Colombier, they get off to a good start. Perhaps the introduction of an outside producer, in this case Radiohead's Nigel Godrich, has forced such beautifully measured focus? Whatever, touchy-feely epics such as the heavenly "Cherry Blossom Girl" sit well next to electronic masterpieces such as "Ran," whose enveloping tracked vocals recall the 10cc classic "I'm Not in Love." --Paul Tierney