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REVIEWS - SOUNDS

Title:
The Virgin Suicides
Artist(s):
Air
El-Camel's Ratings:

Label:
Virgin
---BUY THIS ALBUM---
Reviewer:
michael white

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The intriguingly, sophisticated swirl of chart-hit 'Playground Love' - which opens this score for Sofia Coppola's directing debut, The Virgin Suicides - has already served as introduction to the moody atmospherics that await from the collection of dark pulses and grandiose colour washes residing within.

'Bathroom Girl' - from its sombre church organ requiem, to the overwhelming doomed romanticism of its lush string propulsion - is gorgeously evocative music. The acid test of the best soundtracks are whether they stand autonomously while simultaneously encouraging a visit to the cinema to revel in their true surroundings. This seductive collage scores heavily on both points.

The alien landscape suggested by 'The Word "Hurricane" ' veers from '50s B-movie sci-fi chic to Joe Meek new world/weird doodling; stopping for refuelling at the Warp spaced out-station along the way. Mix in a hearty selection of ITC-flavoured, small-screen box, serial moves - 'Ghost Song' with its chiming throb of an intro suggests Tony Curtis/Roger Moore vehicle The Persuaders - and you begin to understand the references that the duo have plucked from the electronica ether and subjected to fresh air resuscitation. Don't get the idea that it's kitsch - 'Empty House' returns to a theme that is pure Ennio Morricone wide-screen: emotional, resonant and a perfect presentation of the universal scale alluded to.

'Dead Bodies' trembles with low register piano rumblings before taking off into a white light chorale, that describes heavenly mountain top vistas stretching as far as the eye can see while also invoking the hidden world of the spirit. Floating, free and unencumbered. This otherworldly spin is rounded off by the sonorous and moving blank tones of 'Suicide Underground.' Air have fashioned a dark, bleak beauty that is substantial enough to clasp to your breast. But, like some will-o-the-wisp, has the pining emotional melancholy of the unattainable.

michael white

Air: The Virgin Suicides Source/Virgin CD-Album CDV2910

www.the-raft.com

 



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