Review: Junk by M83

Junk by M83It’s been almost five years since M83 released Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, a sprawling double record mining Anthony Gonzalez’s childhood to haunting, fascinating results. It’s the album that put M83 firmly on the map, so the release of his follow-up, Junk, is long anticipated. Here he continues to mine the sounds of his past – this time, it all seemingly revolves around a screen from the 70s and 80s, those end theme tunes, the path that fellow French band Air walked on before. And, for the most part, that’s all it does – revisit, reminisce, evoke memories of old times. On one hand, I actually had this rush of heading those sounds that, while hazy, somehow imprinted themselves in my three-year-old head at the time. (See “Atlantique Sud”.) On the other, you expect Junk to go further with it, like its immediate predecessor. Perhaps the idea is more of a straightforward reminisce, and you are left to interpret it yourself? Perhaps, perhaps – it all boils down to what you expect in the first place. I always look for that kick, though. [NB]3/5

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“Have you ever had a feeling that we’re not alone?”

“I Need You” by M83 | For some reason the release of the soundtrack to Divergent slipped past me – it hit stores exactly a week ago – which is odd, considering how I should be interested with Kendrick Lamar sampling Tame Impala. The rest of the soundtrack nicely fits in that new sub-sub-subgenre I call “indie-electro-pop artists soundtracking film adaptations of young adult book series”: Ellie Goulding’s in there, Snow Patrol’s on there… and then there’s this song from M83, which just is… oh, god, that saxophone solo is just divine. Will this appear in the film itself, which hits screens this Friday? I hope so, but I doubt, because, well, that solo is just divine. Too divine. [NB]

“Give me a moment, some kinda mysterious.”

“Shot At The Night” by the Killers | Manila-bound the Killers are releasing a best-of album, the cunningly named Direct Hits, this November, and with it comes two new songs. This one, “Shot At The Night”, is one of them – and, well, why do I find this weird? And I’m not referring to the involvement of Anthony Gonzalez, aka M83. His ethereal electronica mixes in well with the Killers’ glam sound, softening their Hot Fuss-era stance and making it a little more, uhh, kinky. What I find weird (and, again, I shouldn’t) is how this sounds very much like a song from REO Speedwagon, or one of those other groups I hear a lot in taxis, singing gloopy ballads at one in the afternoon. Again, it’s not unusual – the Killers have always had a spot for the 80s – but I don’t know. I guess I have to get used to it again. [NB]

“Keep blowing and lighting because we own the sky.”

“We Own The Sky” by M83 | The first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, died today at 82, after complications from heart surgery. Well, if you believe in those conspiracies that the moon landing back in 1969 was faked, then you definitely think otherwise. Here’s a song for the man who doesn’t really have a lot of photographs of himself on the moon (just like me in everything, then). And no, I did not choose R.E.M.’s “Man on the Moon” or the Police’s “Walking on the Moon” or anything similar. Also, Triple J just played the Killers’ “Spaceman”, which is quite an imaginative song choice. As for me, I’ll go the French route, what with Georges Méliès’ first visions, and how groundbreaking that 1969 trip was… unless you believe in those conspiracies.