Air France, 'No Way Down' (Something in Construction)

8
No Way Down
Critical Mass
Label: Something In Construction

by Spencer Kornhaber

Like much of the sample-driven pop coming out of Gothenburg, Sweden (Jens Lekman, the Tough Alliance, El Perro Del Mar, Studio), Air France's debut album is a work of widescreen bliss, a collage of clubby bass lines, kids' voices, disco strings, marimbas, and the occasional whinnying horse. But for every jubilant melody, there's a dose of melancholy. The moody brass of "Maundy Thursdays," the loveless female narrator who opens "June Evenings," and the restless whispering in "Never Content" are all touches that keep the billowing instrumental opulence tethered, affectingly, to humans on the ground.

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