18
Apr 01

AIR – “Radio#1”

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AIR – “Radio#1”
Air are beautiful boys with Utopia in their eyes – “With love, melancholy snipers will become flower gun users” they tell us, and whyever shouldn’t we believe them? Their “Radio #1” is half jingle, half anthem, a station ident from some hazy ideal world, faintly phased voices and bold thick drums and a dopey softrock melody. In some corner of France it seems it’s always 1980.

Nowadays we distrust people’s motives for making gorgeous things – Daft Punk’s “Digital Love” was cheesy and knowing and ironic, you may have read, and the same will hold for this confection. Whether Air mean it or not, though, is no more relevant than whether, ooh, REM really liked the Byrds or Primal Scream actually dug Love. Because what the French have done for dance music is what those and similar historians did for guitar pop – they’ve given it a notion of perfection. “Perfect pop” – a jangly, melodic, moving West Coast sound – became a grail and bane of numberless guitar bands from the 80s to now. And what Air and Daft Punk and Modjo are making is the new perfect pop – a stab at recapturing the moment of synthetic radio innocence just after disco exploded and covered everything with its shimmery fallout. The danger, if you could call it that, is reverence not irony.

For now, though, “Radio#1” is lovely, lovely, a breeze. It feels like something starting again: “Brand new ears at once / Reject musical trash”

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