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View Full Version : Air's "Pocket Symphony" So, what do you think?



newalias
03-09-2007, 09:30 PM
I am absolutely in love with Air's newest album "Pocket Symphony." I have heard disappointing reviews of the album and I can say as an avid lover and constructive reviewer of music that I disagree highly. For those of you who care (and by this I mean those who come on this message board to actually talk about developing artists and excellent music, and not waste time and space posting pointless threads about how "one band owns and the rest suck," or that the lineup is "shit"), if you have heard the album all the way through what do you think???

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v152/spasticsean/air.jpg


My abridged review of "Pocket Symphony" for the sake of discussion:

I listened to the album 3 times through today because I couldn't get enough of its entrancing atmosphere. The order of the album alone makes love to my brain cavity.

The album opens with "Space Maker," a curious peak into Air's notable style of acoustic, rhythmic, and eerily dissonant yet sweet melodies. Each song that follows paints a journey that lives up to the albums title. The concept of the album is very fantasy land, the song "Once Upon a Time" is really the first destination of a trip through space, time, and imagination. The album features vocals from Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy, as well as Jarvis Cocker from Pulp. Their lyrical contribution provide just the right seasoning of hauntingly powerful and strikingly personal emotions.

The album reminded me a lot of the concept of James and the Giant Peach whereas you are small, abandoned yet hopeful young child with vibrant imagination and dreams. Each song is like a new dream. The layers of sound and beautiful composition of several diverse instruments are curious, sublime, and cathartic.

Overall, the album is a wonderful accomplishment. It's ranking among the other albums is arguable. I would will say that each album is so good that you really can't place a ranking on which is their best because each album is so amazing...

...I thought I would provide a nice piece of positive music reviewing and advocate for the artists that are performing at this year Coachella, and also to bring some life to the message board. Please contribute any insightful comments you would like to share.

Newalias
aka Sean or (Sharkey)

AEversW
03-09-2007, 09:37 PM
i liked it alot too...its not Talkie Walkie but its very good in its own right...i hope they don't conflict with EITS on sunday! i want to see both.

matsuolost
03-09-2007, 09:38 PM
yeah it's good
moon safari-good

only thing is it hasn't gotten much better since i first heard it about 2 months a go

newalias
03-09-2007, 09:49 PM
..i hope they don't conflict with EITS on sunday! i want to see both.

Ick...Same here. Sunday set times will be most interesting.

blastyourears
03-09-2007, 09:52 PM
it's my favorite Air album... I don't think they would have EITS AND AIR PLAY AT THE SAME TIME.. I CAN ALMOST GUARANTEE THAT.

ivankay
03-09-2007, 09:57 PM
i love Air. Have since Moon Safari. If you ask me my favorite, at the moment of thought i go with Premiers Symptomes. i bought Pocket Symphony along with one of those goofy special edition Neon Bibles (flip books?) i admit to being slow a lot of times and run into the situation where i need multiple listens to really appreciate something. So far with one solid listen and one background listen i have to say nice, but i'm not really diggin it yet. Same thing i said for Premiers.

newalias
03-09-2007, 10:02 PM
i love Air. Have since Moon Safari. If you ask me my favorite, at the moment of thought i go with Premiers Symptomes. i bought Pocket Symphony along with one of those goofy special edition Neon Bibles (flip books?) i admit to being slow a lot of times and run into the situation where i need multiple listens to really appreciate something. So far with one solid listen and one background listen i have to say nice, but i'm not really diggin it yet. Same thing i said for Premiers.

I think this speaks to other reviewers and how they are interpreting the album. My first listen was a very curious one. I then listened to it again and it clicked. I also took a hearty nap this afternoon to it, and I woke up feeling wonderful. :)

xanman86
03-10-2007, 12:02 AM
I love certain songs; Napalm Love, Left Bank, Mer du Japon are the ones that jump out. Like others; One Hell of a Party, Somewhere between waking and sleeping, Photograph.

But the rest are fairly dull. I will listen to it all the way through to soak it all in but I dont think that opinion will change. The instrumental songs are dull as hell, as apposed to Moon Safari in which every song was a majical experience. Many of the songs here fall very flat.

But those three songs I love are some of the best offerings of Air's great career.

newalias
03-10-2007, 12:42 AM
I love certain songs; Napalm Love, Left Bank, Mer du Japon are the ones that jump out. Like others; One Hell of a Party, Somewhere between waking and sleeping, Photograph.

But the rest are fairly dull. I will listen to it all the way through to soak it all in but I dont think that opinion will change. The instrumental songs are dull as hell, as apposed to Moon Safari in which every song was a majical experience. Many of the songs here fall very flat.

But those three songs I love are some of the best offerings of Air's great career.

I think the word that would better replace "dull" with soothing. Agreed there are some songs that aren't packed with energy. The down-tempo feel of these songs are very soothing.

xanman86
03-10-2007, 02:50 AM
Yes but that just sounds to me like a nicer way of calling it elevator music. Yes it is soothing, but it is also very forgettable.

luckyface
03-10-2007, 02:54 AM
I am definitely digging it. A lot of it reminds me of the slower moments on Talkie Walkie, which is a good thing. I think "Space Maker" is one of the best songs they have ever done.

newalias
03-10-2007, 10:20 AM
I am definitely digging it. A lot of it reminds me of the slower moments on Talkie Walkie, which is a good thing. I think "Space Maker" is one of the best songs they have ever done.

Space Maker is definitely one of my favorites.

samiksha
03-10-2007, 11:07 AM
Yes but that just sounds to me like a nicer way of calling it elevator music. Yes it is soothing, but it is also very forgettable.

my boyfriend called talkie walkie elevator music. we broke up.

newalias
03-10-2007, 11:17 AM
my boyfriend called talkie walkie elevator music. we broke up.

I would have done the same.

fober
03-10-2007, 11:31 AM
Almost as big a dissapointment as the RJD2 album.

pinguinotonto
03-10-2007, 11:35 AM
I really enjoy this CD, I like it better than Talkie Walkie. I really liked the song "Alone in Kyoto" on Talkie Walkie, and it's cool that that was the song AIR decided to kind of focus on and make a whole album off of (they say so in their interview on the cd). I really like the whole feel to it. My favorite songs are "Mayfair Bank", and "Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping".

newalias
03-10-2007, 11:37 AM
Almost as big a dissapointment as the RJD2 album.

You didn't say much to back your opinion up. Why do you think so?

dontfeedthebird
03-10-2007, 01:28 PM
I'm stoked about hearing it live. With Jarvis of course...

fober
03-10-2007, 01:52 PM
You didn't say much to back your opinion up. Why do you think so?

It's Air on cruise control.

Like I've heard it all before.

As you mentioned, it's my opinion, that's it.

Kiefer
03-10-2007, 03:30 PM
well, i'm actually on track 4 right now. must say, tracks 1+2 (esp 1) very good, track 3 sucks. it would actually make that the one song i skip as far as air goes. i dont know, maybe i just dont like jarvis cocker. i never really got into pulp either.

xanman86
03-10-2007, 03:35 PM
lol funny enough I agree with your reasoning on dumping the guy who called Talkie Walkie elevator music.

On talkie walkie i pretty much thing everything is perfect exept for Mikes Mills and Universal Traveler, i dont care for those too much.

At the end of Biological, noone is allowed to annoy me or talk over the song in any way haha.

I still belive that Moon Safari is their best achievment it is all around perfection.

10,000 Hz Legend has some awsome songs on it as well, including my favorite, Sex Born Poison. So good.

Bosco
03-10-2007, 05:06 PM
For what its worth, I think the new Air album is better then the new Arcade Fire album. However, both albums are very, very, average. BTW, The Jarvis Cocker song is terrible.

Pocket Symphony a 6.5/10....Best Track= "Redhead Girl"

Neon Bible gets a 6/10 ....Best track= "Black Wave / Bad Vibrations"

go pick up the new Amon Tobin if you wanna hear something that doesnt sound the same.

shakermaker113
03-10-2007, 07:01 PM
i don't think it's very good. the only song i am drawn to so far is photograph. the rest are quite forgettable...

newalias
03-10-2007, 10:24 PM
well, i'm actually on track 4 right now. must say, tracks 1+2 (esp 1) very good, track 3 sucks. it would actually make that the one song i skip as far as air goes. i dont know, maybe i just dont like jarvis cocker. i never really got into pulp either.

its a love/hate thing.

digitalface
03-11-2007, 11:50 PM
One trademark quality that has made Air's work so enchanting is its complex layers that at once engage and assuage without abrasive conflict. There are a few tracks here that tap into that signature sound, but many more that, despite their beauty, seem to wander in fields of keys and strings. Some sound apt for film, but perhaps lack some musical thematic focus and new ideas. This tendency to drift is further brought into high relief by risks such as the more uncharacteristic and dissonant Jarvis collaboration. I agree with xanman, that there's some forgettable stuff on PS, but the good news is that even the "forgettable" in the world of Air is still accomplished and worthy of attention. Regardless of the strength of this latest record, I got tix for the SF show a few days before for the full experience, but you can bet I'll still be front and center on the 29th. See the rest of you there...

New_Paradigm
03-12-2007, 01:32 AM
A few tracks I really enjoy but the rest of it isn't doing it for me. It's not bad by any means, but nothing special. I have loved all their previous albums, but so far this one isn't really grabbing me. I've listened to it 5 or 6 times thinking, "what's wrong with me? Why am I not enjoying this?" I guess I prefer the Darkel release from late last year better. Anyway, still an amazing show I cannot wait to see on Sunday...

dontfeedthebird
03-12-2007, 02:07 AM
Darkel gets on my nerves.

C DUB YA
03-12-2007, 05:57 AM
for me, a big Air fan - its a wee bit disappointing. The songs sound more like a soundtrack than cuts from a proper album.

TeamCoachellaHellYeah
03-12-2007, 06:56 AM
I think I agree, I think it's quite good...I swear to god though, The Jarvis Cocker track sounds like Bowie..

vinylmartyr
03-12-2007, 06:58 AM
I am not gonna listen to it until I hear it live.

Alchemy
03-12-2007, 09:52 AM
New Explosions in the Sky > New Arcade Fire > New Air

Love the new Air album though.

newalias
03-12-2007, 09:58 AM
New Explosions in the Sky > New Arcade Fire > New Air

Love the new Air album though.

That's quite a statement. :) As much as I love both Pocket Symphony and Neon Bible, I would have to agree with you. The new EITS is absolutely wonderful. They will definitely be a group to love and remember over the next 5 years...just so long as they continue to put albums. I am very much a post-rock, experimental, environmental/atmospheric music fiend. Imagine GV added M'um to one of the days this year.

vinylmartyr
03-13-2007, 05:23 PM
experimental, environmental/atmospheric music

Can't we just call it instrumental rock. Post rock is fine. It ain't Ambient Music For Airports.

ttboy80
03-13-2007, 06:46 PM
The Jarvis Song is fucking Brilliant!

ghettojournalist
03-14-2007, 10:00 AM
disappointed with the new air album, especially in comparison to "sexy boy" on the player. i'm glad i saw them during "talkie walkie".

Alchemy
03-14-2007, 10:03 AM
disappointed with the new air album, especially in comparison to "sexy boy" on the player. i'm glad i saw them during "talkie walkie".

I didn't expect it to be better than Talkie Walkie or Moon Safari. You were in for a let down if you expected that. Those CDs were really amazing and it would be hard to top them, even with Jarvis Cocker at your arsenal.

ghettojournalist
03-14-2007, 10:12 AM
I didn't either. I just wanted it to be a solid record. for me, it wasn't.

Alchemy
03-14-2007, 10:14 AM
I didn't either. I just wanted it to be a solid record. for me, it wasn't.

Really? I thought it was pretty good as an album. Maybe not as an Air album, but I still thought it was good electronic music.

ghettojournalist
03-14-2007, 10:20 AM
for me, electronic music has always been a very entertaining listen. even when the softer songs in the electronic arena have had engaing vocals, but this album just plodded along. Jarvis made a decent song out of "nothing." give me massive attack.

Alchemy
03-14-2007, 10:30 AM
for me, electronic music has always been a very entertaining listen. even when the softer songs in the electronic arena have had engaing vocals, but this album just plodded along. Jarvis made a decent song out of "nothing." give me massive attack.

I suppose it's true. I think this album would be better seen as an ambient album than a conventional electronic album. Conventional electronic as in, the sort of music we are used to from Air. We didn't really have cool and slick electronic jams like Talisman, although I think Mer du Japon came close to our conventional Air. But yeah, I suppose the majority of the album was soft piano melodies over soft pads. None of the songs really moved too fast. It was sort of like Brian Eno's first ambient album of his collection of four. I agree, they could have changed up the album a bit more, instead it did kind of plod along. Although, I am a fan of ambient music. I really liked this album. It's like Moby's ambient Hotel album, but not as good.

smokealotapotamus
03-14-2007, 10:47 PM
For me it took a few listens to really let it sink in. At first I was greatly disappointed, but after forcing myself to listen through it a couple of times, It's really really growing on me. Can't wait to see them fourth row in a month. (thanks again to cowmonger and gaypalmsprings for giving me the presale password) I'll try to bring my camera and take some good shots!

hangthedj112
03-14-2007, 11:17 PM
New Explosions in the Sky > New Arcade Fire > New Air

Love the new Air album though.

How can you say EITS is better than both of those releases? at least those bands changed their sound up a bit.

RockStr4Life
03-15-2007, 11:39 AM
I hope Jarvis comes and plays with them...I guess that's a fair assumption that he will

hangthedj112
03-15-2007, 12:44 PM
I hope Jarvis comes and plays with them...I guess that's a fair assumption that he will

Not really, he's playing in San Fran on Saturday and Seattle on Monday, I doubt he'd come all the way back down to indio for it.

sydaud
03-15-2007, 04:03 PM
Feels transitional or even safe, as if they weren't really sure of what direction they wanted to go. It certainly does not feel like a declaration of any kind.

If I have to force myself to listen to an album multiple times without anything really standing out, then it needs to be revisited later....

RockStr4Life
03-16-2007, 03:27 PM
Not really, he's playing in San Fran on Saturday and Seattle on Monday, I doubt he'd come all the way back down to indio for it.

That sucks! They should move Air to Friday...they're not meant to be playing on the Rage day.

CoveredinPunksBlood
03-16-2007, 06:04 PM
Isn't it odd that all of the people who come just to see Rage are going to stand (sit...whimper?) through a set by two frenchmen to play melodic, moody, atmospheric music? I dig em' both so I'm super excited for the main stage that day, but the Rageonly people might be a bit put off. Maybe the riot will start then.

newalias
03-16-2007, 06:53 PM
Isn't it odd that all of the people who come just to see Rage are going to stand (sit...whimper?) through a set by two frenchmen to play melodic, moody, atmospheric music? I dig em' both so I'm super excited for the main stage that day, but the Rageonly people might be a bit put off. Maybe the riot will start then.

What if...and I am spit-balling here, Air closes the Mainstage instead of performing at sunset. Would this piss people off because they are expecting a sunset orgasm...Air is a wonderful night show, too...Arguably as great of an experience.

Boourns
03-16-2007, 06:59 PM
It's disappointing and a bit dull at times, but it's still Air, so it's still good.

RockStr4Life
03-17-2007, 06:20 PM
What if...and I am spit-balling here, Air closes the Mainstage instead of performing at sunset. Would this piss people off because they are expecting a sunset orgasm...Air is a wonderful night show, too...Arguably as great of an experience.

I would love to see Air close out the main stage after Rage. And why is everyone comparing the new Arcade Fire with new Air? Just because they are both playing Coachella? They are too different to compare.

joebizz
03-18-2007, 02:15 PM
Wow. Nice to see some people on here who are POSITIVE! After a review like that, I'm on my way to my local record store. Huge Air fan. Have been since, what was it, 3 yrs. ago when they played "The Coach"? Lucky us in Santa Barbara got a piece of them shortly after coachella at the beautiful S.B.bowl, and they were amazing! Even better the 2nd time around. Cannot wait to see them live again. Jean and Nicolas are masters of their craft. Made me actually like the French.
I'm joking frenchies. Thanks for the statue of liberty.

newalias
03-18-2007, 09:28 PM
Wow. Nice to see some people on here who are POSITIVE! After a review like that, I'm on my way to my local record store. Huge Air fan. Have been since, what was it, 3 yrs. ago when they played "The Coach"? Lucky us in Santa Barbara got a piece of them shortly after coachella at the beautiful S.B.bowl, and they were amazing! Even better the 2nd time around. Cannot wait to see them live again. Jean and Nicolas are masters of their craft. Made me actually like the French.
I'm joking frenchies. Thanks for the statue of liberty.

Now THAT is why I spend time on this message board. :)