M83 Slips Deliciously Back Into the '80s

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on May 29, 2008 3:45PM

Saturdays=Youth by M83 a.k.a. Anthony GonzalezM83 (a.k.a. Anthony Gonzalez) albums have tended toward being sweepingly atmospheric, with rumbling songs that stretch out and cover the landscape with warm gooey tones. The new album Saturdays=Youth starts off with a snippet that would lead the listener to believe this pattern would continue to hold true, until the deliciously cold and shimmering "Kim & Jessie" kicks in like the opening credits of a John Hughes film.

And John Hughes is an appropriate touchstone since the era defined by his movies of universal teenage disenfranchisement permeates the album lyrically, musically, and even visually defines the packaging. Echoes of Cocteau Twins peak through the processed drums and cascading synths on songs such as the melodrama of "Up!" Hard-charging New Order flashbacks dominate the fist single "Coleurs," and the Cure's epic strumming comes face to face with hushed vocals a la a million haircut bands circa 1986.

As you can tell by now, Gonzalez is nakedly tipping his hat at a particular moment in time, but his homage is so loving, so attentive to detail, and so thoroughly honest, that the album stands out as possibly the most nakedly emotional moment in the M83 oeuvre. Saturdays=Youth may by the most conventional M83 statement yet, but it's also the most satisfying.

MP3: M83 "We Own the Sky (Maps Remix)"

M83 plays two shows tonight at Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $17 (both shows are sold out, but limited tickets will be available at the door), 21+