The other day I was alerted to the fact that Moon Safari by Air is 20-years old. What an album it is! Flowing, imaginative, funny, soulful and reflective, full of joyous and melancholic synths, intertwining riffs and melodies, beautiful vocals and a real sense of freedom. It really is majestic.
Earlier on today I played the album, lounging around as the snow fell outside and I was reminded of all of the above and more. I've actually listened to it 3-times today!
I caught the band playing the Old Fruitmarket as they toured the album. Sean Lennon supported and I actually stood beside him in the lead up to Air coming on stage. The DJ dropped The Word by The Beatles and he went back side stage. The 22-year old me was desperately caught in two minds regarding whether to talk to him or not. I wish I had!
La Femme D'Argent is a stunning opener. There is a groove to the bass, flowing synths, dreamy backing vocals and beautiful melodies. It is so easy to get lost in this song. I always used to put it on mix tapes and mix CD's.
Sexy Boy was the 'hit'. The video of Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit-Dunkel walking about New York City and buying a monkey with a Sexy Boy t-shirt on and subsequently going off to fantasise about things was genius and helped take Air and Moon Safari overground. There guitar/synth riff and Sexy Boy hook are captivating from the off, the sultry French vocals are the sugar on top. The instrumental solo section is sublime.
The reflective side of Air comes across on All I Need, beautiful psychedelic folky riffs combine over simple percussion and more dreamy vocals take the listener on a trip.
All I need's a little time
To get behind the sun and cast this weight
Air's sense of pop that they displayed on Sexy Boy is taken a step further with Kelly Watch The Stars, a song that takes the listener on a different kind of trip via repetition rather than they flowing riffs and melodies that are evident throughout the album. That said, there is still plenty of space in the song for Air to flow and the instrumental section really does lift the song to another level.
As for Talisman, I can't recall an instrumental as emotive, it really does speak volumes. Rising and falling and generally just evidencing sheer brilliance. Remember features repetitive lyrics, but again it is music that captivates.
You Make it Easy is the most 'wordy' song on Moon Safari and it is a tale of love asking questions of how the lovers found each other and marvelling at how life now is.
You make it easy to watch the world with love
You make it easy to let the past be done
The layers of riffs and melodies are pure and sublime on Ce Matin-La with gentle horns introduced alongside strings. Another melancholic soulful masterpiece. Who needs words?
Moon Safari really does take the listener on a trip. As a complete body of work it is stunning, yet individually each track is capable of doing that as well. New Star In The Sky is moody and broody (great album for the bedroom!).
The trip ends with Le voyage de Penelope and again it is so easy to immerse yourself and get lost in the gorgeous music and vibes that the dup create.
Moon Safari is a truly captivating album that sounds like it was conceived with an incredible amount of love, care and attention. I found myself listening to 3-times today. Enjoy, whether you are listening to it for the first time ever or the first time in a while.
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