Air The Virgin Suicides

The theme from M*A*S*H said that suicide is painless, but Air's soundtrack for the forthcoming Sofia Coppola film, The Virgin Suicides, goes a lot further. It renders suicide into something as thickly luxurious as velvet bed curtains. After the delicious refried disco froth of Moon Safari and Premiers Symptomes, Air spin an equally seductive, but darker sort of decadence here that evokes the adolescent romance of suicide as a warm embrace - solace and respite from a harsher adult world of rules and expectations. Adolescent angst has long been a staple for the ham-fisted, contrived gloom of the Cure and Depeche Mode, to say nothing of goths, but what Air manages to capture is not the pouting or glowering pose of trumped-up depth, but the real dreaminess of wallowing in overwrought emotions. That they do this without sounding trite or condescending is a testimony to their brilliant handling of sound as mood. As Moon Safari and Premiers Symptomes also suggested, Air are naturals for film scoring, and the soundtrack evokes image and mood without any experience of the movie at all. The film may be an uneven mess, but the music to die for. (Virgin)