Talkie Walkie

~ Release group by Air


Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Talkie Walkie CD 11 Virgin (worldwide imprint of Virgin Records Ltd. and its subsidiaries) VJCP-68622 4988006817364
Talkie Walkie 12" Vinyl 10 Virgin (worldwide imprint of Virgin Records Ltd. and its subsidiaries) 7243 5 96600 1 1 724359660011
Talkie Walkie Copy Control CD 10 Source (French branch) 7243 5966002 8 724359660028
Talkie Walkie (limited edition) Enhanced CD + DVD-Video 11 + 5 Source (French branch), Astralwerks, Virgin (worldwide imprint of Virgin Records Ltd. and its subsidiaries) 72435 967240 3, ASW96724, ASW 96724, CDVX 2980 724359672403
Talkie Walkie CD 10 Astralwerks ASW 96632 724359663227
Talkie Walkie CD 10 Virgin (worldwide imprint of Virgin Records Ltd. and its subsidiaries) CDV 2980 724359663227


artist & repertoire support: Stéphane Elfassi
Marc Tessier du Cros
associated singles/EPs: Alpha Beta Gaga
Cherry Blossom Girl
Surfing on a Rocket
Surfing on a Rocket EP
part of: Shortlist Music Prize Nominees (number: 2004)
Allmusic: [info]
Discogs: [info]
Wikidata: Q516527 [info]
Wikipedia: en: Talkie Walkie [info]
lyrics page: [info]
other databases: [info] [info]
reviews: [info] [info] [info] [info] [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Five years on from the epoch-defining Moon Safari, les garcons seem to have returned to pastures old. A strange concept considering that they've made a career out of electronic retro-futurism. Yet, when you consider that the aforementioned album became almost the dictionary definition of incidental TV music (and cannot now be listened to without subconscious visions of pucker dishes by Jamie Oliver or another middle-class garden designed by Diamuid Gavin), it was wise to take time to return to what they do best. The intervening years being filled with prog concept albums (10,000Hz Legend), soundtracks (Virgin Suicides) or high-brow collaborations (City Reading), is this full-circle for Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, or is there more to Talkie Walkie than meets the eye?

Certainly the requisite elements needed to make it a music researcher's dream are here as before. Gently plucked acoustics cascade underneath bubbling analogue confections, while the strangely asexual vocals (entirely provided by the duo this time) murmur vaguely about space travel (''Surfin' on a Rocket''), sexual science (''Biological''), modern love (''Venus'') and cherry blossom girls (err...''Cherry Blossom Girl''), whatever they are. But ultimately this is not Moon Safari 2.

The clues are in the detail: just check out the whistling on "Alpha Beta Gaga"! There's still an element of collaboration; with co-producer Nigel Godrich supplying an extra sheen of glossy modern electronica and strings by Serge Gainsbourg's arranger Michel Colombier. Of course the latter choice makes perfect sense when you consider that 50 percent of Air's appeal is their very knowing faux-cheesiness. All Gallic cool mixed with naive whimsy. A bit like Francoise Hardy in the 25th century. They must be huge in Japan, and indeed this album often comes close to sounding very much like that country's very own science fiction pop maestro, Cornelius; especially on ''Another Day'', ''Alone in Kyoto'' or ''Biological'' (whose quaint banjos also bring to mind Japanese ethno-electronicists World Standard)

But let's not forget the beautiful tunes. These are what stop Talkie Walkie (and its predecessors) from being just dinner party music for stoners. Starting with the minimum of bleeps and beats each track takes its time to build into swooningly sumptuous melodies. Suddenly you find yourself genuinely moved. Even the charming Bach-lite of ''Mike Mills'' (and how many other tracks named after bass players do you know?) takes what could have been something approaching Tubular Bells, and turns it on its head by luxuriating in the innocent pleasure of music; pure and simple. Formidable...