>Here’s something new, there are loads of albums that I end up downloading that are years old so I have felt posting a review would be pointless. But hey, why not give my readers an overview of everything I listen to and not just the new stuff. So I’m gonna start my “Overdue Revue” section and start it off with M83.
M83 is a French Electronic group headed by Anthony Gonzalez, and “Saturdays = Youth” is their 5th album released in 2008. I’m not exactly sure how I was turned on to this album (I think maybe just scrolling through iTunes), but I’m really glad I found it. The album overall is one of the best tributes to 80’s Pop and New Wave sounds, the group M83 are known as a “shoegazing” or “nu-gaze” group, and this style of distorted vocals and reverb effects is best evidenced on M83’s first four albums which are largely instrumentals. They are great background music, but the light and moody sounds all kind of blended into each other. On “Saturdays = Youth” there is a bigger focus on the vocals and making “single” ready songs, which works much better as an album. While songs like “You, Appearing” “Coleurs” and “Highway of Endless Dreams” are reminiscent of the tracks on their previous albums, songs like “Skin of the Night” and “We Own The Sky” (two great stand outs) are a more subtle transition into a new style, with vocals added to very ambient electronic sounds — almost sounding like an Electronica version of Enya.
Than there are songs like “Kim and Jessie” “Graveyard Girl” and “Up!” that are undeniably catchy, and rival some of the best New Wave Pop cuts of the 80’s, reminding the listener of acts like Human League, Tears for Fears and a lighter styled Depeche Mode. However the album still retains it’s own uniqueness even in paying homage to that decade. The songs have a lot more emotion in the production by Ken Thomas than even those 80’s songs, thus succeeding in paying tribute to the vibe of that era while still bringing something new and not sounding like a lazy copy cat of the sound.
The album overall is a great listen, there are the moody songs mixed in with the more uptempo tracks, but it all feels like very complicated yet natural production.