Air's long-awaited follow-up album to 2004 'Talkie Walkie', entitled 'Pocket Symphony', will finally be officially released on March 6, with collaborations with Neil Hannon & Jarvis Cocker. And the lead single is 'Once Upon A Time'.
The video for the song is a simple, dreamy performance piece with the Parisian duo performing multiple instruments in a pitch black room with blurry lights behind them, accompanied by a Japanese woman in a kimono. You can watch it here.
Now, having listened to the album a couple of times, I still have yet made up my mind about it. While it's all beautifully composed and executed, and it's everything you can expect from them. The use of the Japanese traditional instruments like the koto and the shamisen was seamless and deft. But somehow there seems to be something missing. I guess the problem for me is as a whole, it feels too much like background music. Like waves washing over the shore. After the last track ended, it just didn't stay. Most of the tracks were too airy it just didn't stick, like the little whistling tune in 'Alpha Beta Gaga', the dreamy vocals in 'Surfing On A Rocket', or the magnificent 'Alone In Kyoto' from the previous album.
Now I hope maybe after a few more listens, I will work it out and find what's missing. But that Air-produced Charlotte Gainsbourg album? I wish 'Pocket Symphony' could have sounded more like that.
'Once Upon A Time' is the closest thing to a single the album can offer. So far, in my opinion, it's the best track and if you like it, then you should probably check out the album.
Download Air - Once Upon A Time
Buy Pocket Symphony