Journey of Evolution en Brief
On their newest album, Twentyears, Air offers listeners a completely unique listening experience. This album is far from what you might expect from a typical electronica band. Though they rely on programmed pianos and sounds, they manage to generate a light ambiance, as well as a profoundly deep sound at certain points.
The French duo, founded in 1995, has reached a musical mile stone. This year marks their 20th year together. Hence, their most recent album is an ode to just that. Much evolved from their last albums Moon Safari, and 10 000 Hz Legend, they’ve ushered in a new style, yet have managed to maintain the sounds and effects that set them apart in the first place. The album draws heavily on global sounds. Listening to “Indian Summer”, you’ll hear a smooth track dominated by a classic rock beat, and pulled by a sitar.
On “Adis Abebah” the tone becomes darker, offering listeners a step back from the established feel of the album into a heavier vibe. Take a listen to the album and you’ll notice that there is not a single high hat crash, snare or even typical synth piano line. The style that the duo has created operates along this layout. Each song on the rest of the album manages to exist in the periphery of the synth pop genre as well. One might wonder if this album would be better described as an oeuvre of alternative music rather than electronica.
Several ingredients in this album including a jazz flute, smooth almost classical piano, vibraphone, dynamic strings, all combine to establish a collection of songs that have you feeling in constant motion. Each track such as “La Femme D’Argent”, “Cherry Blossom Girl”, and “Playground Love”, unite to create a cohesive album. Though Twentyears does seem to lack diversity after the album is about halfway through, it was conceived of a creativity that has expanded the genre of synth-pop music into a realm of infinite potential.