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It has become customary for soundtracks to function merely as marketing tie-ins to a film, but Air's music for Sofia Coppola's fine directorial debut, "The Virgin Suicides," brings listeners toward the movie rather than taking them away from it. The film, set in mid-'70s suburbia, could easily have relied on a soundtrack of retro-fitted, leisure-suited cheesiness without making any kind of modern musical statement. But Air's Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit Dunckel are able to capture the oppressive artificiality of the setting while also sounding incredibly au courant. As on their debut, MOON SAFARI, the duo build their sounds on Moog and Fender Rhodes keyboards, but the music is leaner and more evocative. Unlike Yes, ELP, or other monsters of prog rock, their music has the light touch of Brian Eno's '70s work, especially his collaborations with David Bowie. "Playground Love" with vocals by Gordon Tracks captures the wistful tone of the movie's narration. Playful harp runs lend a campy atmosphere to "Dirty Trip," which echoes the movie's use of Heart's "Magic Man" (available on a soon-to-be-released, non-Air-related soundtrack) in an introductory scene. Godin says that the duo composed the music while watching the film, and it shows in their close adherence to the movie's narrative. There is even a hypnotic voice-over summarizing the film's events at the end. Although it is only 40 minutes long, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is more than just a fine trailer for the movie -- it serves as a preview of what new directions may be found on Air's proper sophomore recording.
|Label:||Rhino / Parlophone|