We Can't Fly
Aeroplane's eagerly anticipated debut album We Can't Fly arrives with sky-high hopes. The Belgian duo with Italian roots established themselves as party-starting DJs and remixers-du-jour with their spacious cosmic-disco re-rubs of Grace Jones, Friendly Fires, and Sebastien Tellier, and as leaders of the nu-disco and Balearica scene. Having amicably parted company with his band mate Stephen Fasano, Vito De Luca continues Aeroplane as a one-man operation. Recorded in Toulouse, Paris, London and Los Angeles, and co-produced by Bertrand Burgalat, We Can't Fly is a grown up, dazzlingly accomplished album that showcases not just a passion for stately, soulful disco and early '80s electronica, but a lush and bittersweet set of influences that stretches from Abba and film soundtracks to Floyd, the Stones and Italian crooners. This melting pot provides the backdrop to Aeroplane's 21st century take on Balearic house. "We Can't Fly" is a languid, show-stopping anthem-to-be. The widescreen, string-splashed "Mountains Of Moscow" is the soundtrack to the best '80s blockbuster you've never seen, while "London Bridge" and "Point Of No Return" are mini-epics of spiraling, Floydian guitar riffs and plaintive Tangerine Dream synths. Another mighty inspiration was Giorgio Moroder, whose gleaming electronic scores fed into the vintage disco stylings of "My Enemy" and the propulsive, piano-led "Superstar." The latter features vocoder vocals from Vito himself, but Moroder was so impressed, that he has already laid down the vocals for an alternative version of the track. Also featured is the raucous, razor-blade rock of "I Don't Feel," with the formidable vocals of Merry Clayton, who backed Jagger on Vito's favorite Stones song, "Gimme Shelter." Other guest singers include: Nicolas Ker, the frontman of French/Italo-disco outfit Poni Hoax, who adds a sullen élan to "Fish In The Sky," an electro torch song worthy of Human League, while dream-pop outfit Au Revoir Simone breathe delicate harmonies over the woozy ballad "We Fall Over," and London's Jonathan Jeremiah transforms "Good Riddance" into a low-slung slice of honky-tonk soul. Perhaps the most ear-catching turn comes from the precocious L.A. teen-vixen Sky Ferreira on "Without Lies," a cover of a song by the Belgian screen star Marie Gillain. We Can't Fly promises to take Aeroplane's passengers on a first class round-trip of electronic psychedelia. Includes a CD version of the album.