M83: Saturdays=Youth

It's hard to imagine finding much to fault in an album that professes a serious devotion to the likes of the Thompson Twins and Kate Bush, but it's also hard to imagine taking such an album seriously. Credit M83, then, for gazing back at the '80s and escaping the revivalist void that traps so many different acts with so many different intentions.

In an ethereal bit of illogic, Saturdays=Youth sounds entirely and nothing like the '80s. There's no mistaking songs such as "Skin Of The Night" and "Graveyard Girl" as being rooted in any other time, from their hooks to their moods to the ways their guitars jangle in service of synthesizers at work in the foreground. But then, there's no mistaking anything on the album as having been recorded any time other than now. M83 has fancied big sounds since rising up in France as a strange sort of sensuous post-rock act in 2003, but Saturdays=Youth boasts a more expansive sense of space, by a lot. And it serves in terms of songs as much as sound design: For all the awe kindled by the effectively perfect sound in a transcendent highlight like "Kim & Jessie," the real triumph is that M83 uses such a setting for more simple melody and emotion than ever before.

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