by Air


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When Twentyears arrived in 2016, it didn't coincide exactly with Air's 20th anniversary: Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin began working together as Air in 1995. Similarly, the collection takes an impressionistic, less archival approach to the duo's music. The first half collects many of their best-known tracks, but instead of placing them in chronological order, they're blended into each other like a playlist. Juxtaposing songs from different eras and albums reinforces just how seamlessly Air mixed exotica, symphonic, electronic, and pop into their own distinctive but quintessentially tasteful style, as well as the differences within their body of work. Moon Safari's jazzy smoothness dominates Twentyears, with songs such as "La Femme d'Argent," "Kelly Watch the Stars," and "Sexy Boy" making up nearly a quarter of the collection's first part. Talkie Walkie's pop whimsy also has a large presence, represented by tracks including "Cherry Blossom Girl" and "Alpha Beta Gaga." Highlights from Air's film music are rightly included, with The Virgin Suicides' "Playground Love," Lost in Translation's "Alone in Kyoto," and Voyage dans la Lune's "Moon Fever" holding their own with the band's singles. However, other areas of their career feel underrepresented; only a handful of tracks from the underappreciated Pocket Symphony and 10,000 Hz Legend -- whose experiments have aged better than might have been expected -- are here, and there are no Love 2 songs whatsoever. On the other hand, the inclusion of the 1997 single "Le Soleil Est Près de Moi" and "Land Me," a song from Air's limited-edition 2014 album Music for Museum (which was commissioned by the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille) add something special while introducing the rarities that make up Twentyears' second half. As with the rest of the collection, the harder-to-find tracks seem to be chosen in order to maintain the relentlessly pleasant mood. However, songs such as "The Duelist," which features vocals by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jarvis Cocker, reflect just how sublime Air's music can be, while the sitar-heavy "Indian Summer" dips into their fondness for kitsch. Though it feels too general for die-hard fans and too completist for most casual ones, Twentyears does showcase Air's unrivaled skill at making exquisite mood music over the decades.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2016
Label: Rhino / Parlophone
UPC: 0190295990145
catalogNumber: 554838
Rank: 93546

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Air   Primary Artist,Vocals
Tony Allen   Drums
Jarvis Cocker   Vocals
Michel Colombier   Conductor
Roger Neill   Conductor
Brian Reitzell   Drums
David Whitaker   Conductor
Stephane "Alf" Briat   Drums
Brian Kehew   Keyboards
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Bass
Roger Manning   Keyboards,Vocals
Charlotte Gainsbourg   Vocals
Beth Hirsch   Vocals
Malik Mezzadri   Flute
Eric Regert   Organ
Hugo Ferran   Saxophone
Gordon Tracks   Vocals
Thomas Mars   Drums
Deck d'Arcy   Bass
Christian Mazzalai   Guitar
Laurent Brancowitz   Keyboards
Beck Hansen   Vocals
Guillemette Foucard   Vocals

Technical Credits

Françoise Hardy   Composer
Jarvis Cocker   Composer
Michel Colombier   String Arrangements
Roger Neill   Arranger
David Whitaker   String Arrangements
Jean-Jacques Perrey   Composer
Nigel Godrich   Producer
Air   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Jean-Benoît Dunckel   Composer
Nicolas Godin   Composer
Jack Arel   Composer
Beth Hirsch   Composer
Joël Fajerman   Arranger
Thomas Mars   Composer
Åbäke   Logo,Layout
Richard Prince   Cover Art
Laurent Pinon   Artwork
Xavier Veilhan   Artwork
Mike Mills   Drawing
Peter Moesser   Composer
Jean Croc   Whistle
Louis Arlette   Engineer
Ora-Lto   Concept

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