MGF Reviews M83 – Saturdays=Youth

M83 – Saturdays=Youth
Mute Records (4/15/08)
Electronic / Ambient / Shoegazer

I knew I was going to adore this album once I heard an interview with Anthony Gonzalez, about this album, where he explains, “I loved being a teenager. That’s when I discovered music and started to take drugs and party with my friends.”

This album is decidedly different from M83’s past, as it deviates from previous albums which explored the dark and doomy shoegazer side of the ’80s à la The Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. However, with album we see a decidedly more sunny, poppier side of the band. This is immediately apparent on the album’s first track, “You Appearing”, which boasts the shiny, subtle reverberating of piano accompanied by layers of sweet female vocals.

Gonzalez makes no excuses about his apparent influences, which include Tears for Fears and Cocteau Twins. Traces of Cocteau Twins can be detected all over tracks like, “Kim and Jessie” and “Skin of the Night”, which are both absolutely infectious.

“Couleurs”, the first single, which is now available for download, is a beautiful, danceable track. Although there are no vocals, I can almost see Molly Ringwald appearing at the prom in Pretty in Pink to this song. Hrmmm… methinks that the apparent Molly Ringwald look-alike on the album’s cover was no mistake. “Graveyard Girl” is the result of Gonzalez and guest vocalist Morgan Kibby exploring what it feels like to be a girl outcast at the age of 15: “The cemetery is my home / And I’ll read poetry to the stones / Maybe one day I can become one of them…” As heartfelt as this song is, it still manages to be dancy and upbeat at the same time.

Saturdays=Youth was produced under the watchful eyes of Ken Thomas and Ewan Pearson. Thomas resume is long and staggering; he began working with Psychic TV and Alien Sex Fiend over 20 years ago, most recently he has worked with Sigur Rós and Clinic, among many others. Pearson adds a slick modern sound to the album, having worked with The Rapture and Ladytron.
Every generation indulges in songs from their past, but, with Saturdays=Youth we don’t have to feel like we’re dwelling in the past.



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