Hot Disc: Air’s Love 2

Among the dubious charms of the Paris Metro is this recurring phenomenon: a grubby, often bereted man gets on, wielding an accordion, which he plays energetically for at least five minutes. This surprise isn’t free, of course; afterward he’ll stick out his hand for coins. If I were a nicer Canadian, I’d find this delightful. But I’m like: Hi! Can’t you see I’m trying to listen to Air?

Because the French pop princes have finally set free their latest effort, Love 2 (EMI), and it seems just the thing to listen to on steamy subterranean rides. In fact, I’ve been falling into it at random–whenever I have a spare moment, or an impending mental breakdown–for weeks now. I just slip on my headphones, and I might as well be slipping into a heart-shaped hot-tub, filled with fake bubbly, at a Niagara Falls motel: that’s how excellently cheesy it is. The lyrics to “Love,” for example, are roughly as follows: “Love… love… love… love.” (Yes, but what is the song about?) But the shlock is met with awesome influences: a little Bowie, a little Blondie, and a lot of disco B-sides must have gone into the making of such loungey, spacey jams. I can’t say this is a “good” album, necessarily, but it makes me smile and shimmy in my seat. And it’s better than that freaking accordion.

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