Music » CD Reviews


Talkie Walkie (Astralwerks)


Since the outer-space lounge-lizard glow of Moon Safari, their 1998 debut, became the soundtrack du jour for denizens of overpriced martini bars, Parisian cool cats JB Dunckel and Nicolas Godin have taken great pains to avoid repeating themselves on subsequent discs.

While the creepy, robotic, after-hours coldness of 2001's 10,000 Hz Legend was an unfortunate casualty of Air's experimentation, Talkie's own eerie ambiance has an organic feel, thanks to the duo's decision to handle lead singing duties for the first time. The cotton-candy-spun vocal layering and extraterrestrial keyboards on "Run" make it sound like a ghostly music box, "Another Day" resembles a less-theatrical gothic dirge, and "Biological" twinkles like an outtake from the Edward Scissorhands score. Yet Talkie feels largely detached from the enveloping, woozy warmth that made Safari so magical. With their fluttering guitar strums and crystalline rhythmic precision, "Cherry Blossom Girl" and "Alone in Kyoto" conjure the stylized but distant delicacy of a Japanese tea garden. Air knows how to sculpt aesthetically beautiful tunes; imbuing them with deeper emotional resonance would have made Talkie more inviting.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.