intraspace: the review lounge

Sunday, April 27, 2008

M83 - Saturdays=Youth

First couple of songs - I’m asking ‘why cross the line into making synthy 80’s pop?’. M83 has always used epic keys with an 80’s feel to underscore much of his work, but on this new album, well he really gets carried away. I guess the cover should have warned me. Kim and Jessie’ and ‘skin of the night’ really are terrible - two stars, which means they’ll be deleted shortly from my collection.

But then, I get to ‘graveyard girl’ and ‘couleurs’ and I start to dig it. Maybe I was just getting used to it, but these tracks were getting better - more instrumental and epic electronica without any particular decade-obsession.

Unfortunately, the next track ‘up’ douses this enthusiasm, though the slight Coctau Twins resemblance is something. The nicely titled ‘we own the sky’ is ok, and amps up towards the end, but again has too much chorus-ized singing. I’ll spare you too much more of my up and down review, but suffice to say its been quite a first-listen journey.

Late album is mostly 3 out of 5 star territory, until the final track, ‘midnight souls still remain’ - its nearly worth the price of the album itself. Just leave it on repeat for around 40 mins to make up for some of the others, something that sounds crazy, but please, try it.

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  • ok, here's my round-up: 'you appearing' is a beautiful piano piece. 'kim & jessie' i actually really like - it completely reminds of icehouse (for example 'great southern land' in terms of instrumentation). listen to both together and see what you think... 'skin of the night' has a lot of that feel too and i really like this track as well. 'coleurs' was the first track i heard from this album a few months ago - great stuff. 'up!' is french cheesyness and it's not a great track. 'too late' - more piano niceness with some nice m83 trademark white noise sweeps. i'm not a huge fan of 'we own the sky' but it redeems itself a little as it goes on. 'dark moves of love' is ok.

    i don't know what all the fuss about 'graveyard girl' is - and the video is a bit silly with an emo girl winning the heart of a jock after she discovers that he is carrying a great weight of pain of the death of his dog. that theme has some redeeming features if it is deliberately self-reflexive.

    i don't have any of the other tracks, and might just have to buy the whole album from itunes so that i can follow your advice re the final track.

    general comments: let us not forget that M83 is french so there's bound to be some cheesy synthy stuff. it is undeniably a nostalgic album. i've read comments to the effect that he was looking back at his own youth - so this might also explain the retro influences in the music. lyrically it has contains some teen angst and that combined with the music reminds me a bit of air's 'virgin suicides' soundtrack. i think we should view the teen angst at that end of the spectrum rather than the less palatable 'emo' kind.

    By Blogger andrew killick, at 11:47 AM  

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