2017 BET Awards

Air, "Love 2"

3

Few bands live up to their names as well as Air. The French electronic duo makes gravity-defying disco-pop that can be as foreboding as it is frothy (see the 2000 soundtrack to "The Virgin Suicides"). Air's fifth studio album, "Love 2," hinges on Joey Waronker, a percussionist who toured with the band on its last outing. His delicate playing helps bring all of those potentially spacey piano arpeggios back down to earth, resulting in a sound that resembles the lo-fi pop for which Air first became known more than the cosmic symphony of recent efforts. Ditties like "Sing Sang Sung" include a vibraphone, wind chimes and tambourine, while "African Velvet" has horns and light-handed syncopation from Waronker. It's not immediately clear if the group is always being tongue-in-cheek ("Tropical Disease" is so lounge-y and psychedelic that it could be retrofitted into a Roger Moore-era James Bond flick), but one thing is certain: Style trumps substance in this particular breath of Air. --Kerri Mason