Reviews M83 Saturdays=Youth



The French are good at many things. Food. Art. Aquatic nuclear shenanigans.

But despite being one of the cultural centers of Europe, France never seems to have really mastered music. Perhaps it’s my brutish Britannic ignorance, but I struggle to name many decent French bands. Air are good. I’ve heard some decent French hip-hop. And then there’s M83.

Manned and operated by Anthony Gonzalez, the previous albums have consisted of an intriguing blend of shoegaze and synthpop that brought the best of both worlds. While Saturdays=Youth doesn’t stray a million miles away from that blueprint, there’s something definitively unique about this recording. The shoegaze elements have been dialed back a bit and the vocals are more consistent throughout. It’s somehow more sparkling, more ethereal than earlier work while being significantly more mainstream in its appeal. This is already on track to become M83’s breakthrough release, and it’s not surprising at all.

An increase in the female backing vocals from Morgan Kibby has worked wonders, and it’s no coincidence that album highlight “Skin of the Night” is led by her. There’s flashes of drone on the likes of “Couleurs” and flowing pop majesty on “Graveyard Girl” and “Kim And Jessie.” Within the boundaries of the album sounds flow into one, which would be a bit of a limitation were it not for the fact that the album itself is breaking the mold somewhat.

It is consciously - I hope - quite self-involved and perhaps a little bit twee, but when the lush wash of glorious synthwork and fuzz is this absorbing you can forget yourself in amongst it all.

9.0 / 10Matt T.
See also
Slowdive, Isobella, Astrobrite, Ulrich Schnauss
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9.0 / 10

9.0 / 10

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