After 2011’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, M83 began to enter into the next step of stardom. The band had already built acclaim over the years, but the album took them to new heights; especially their hit single “Midnight City”. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the song; whether it was on TV, in movies, games or even at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the song was everywhere. This led to movie soundtrack work for the band with their most notable work being for 2013’s Oblivion starring Tom Cruise. Now here we are, 5 years later and the band everyone seemingly loved, then forgot about is back with their latest album, Junk. One of the lasting thoughts in regards to any new material from artists who release massive singles is how do they follow it up. M83 has found the answer, albeit in a different way.
Junk brings what you would expect from an M83 record: plenty of cool, airy synths, some atmospheric analog sounds, and, of course, the occasional sexy sax. However, it also brings other musical elements to the table that blend with their sound so well it seems like this is who they were meant to be the whole time. Additionally, this album was designed with the concept of not being a follow up to their last album and having a singular standout track. This go around, they want you to consume the album in full, from start to finish and soak in the atmosphere. Pulling out songs that will inevitably be stand out singles is a bit tricky as the album just flows extremely well.
M83, aka Anthony Gonzalez, new studio album ‘Junk’ is out now: http://m83.it/buyjunkYo M83 will be touring the world through 2016, see all the dates and buy tickets here: http://m83.it/tourYo Animation by blør (http://www.blor.co.uk)
One thing that is always appreciated in a long play album is some stylistic variance. It’s very hard to enjoy 15 songs in a row that don’t change energy and sound almost exactly the same. What the band has done here is make a creative piece that has a cohesive musical experience that has highs, lows, and mixes new production with old school (70’s-80’s) ideas. Junk definitely has it’s moments when there is no choice but to put on the stank face and rock to the beat, but there’s also times where you can sit back and appreciate the well composed melodies and complementing vocal lines of the several featured guest artists who do a wonderful job here. Something that deserves a lot of praise here is written bass lines. It’s not often that our ears are graced with bass lines that manage to be funky, complex, and just downright impressive to listen to without being boring, repetitive or sticking out from the mix or being too flashy. Kudos on that front, because as much as many rap/pop artists would like to try to convince you that it isn’t, writing a good, catchy bass line that fits is pretty difficult.
All in all, there aren’t too many complaints to be made about Junk. It’s a great album that gives a sort of blast from the past, diverse, well written, produced and fun to listen to. It could be said they haven’t pushed the envelope in the way of innovation, there are some sections that are less than interesting, and there are some parts that are a little cheesy, but these are, for the most part subjective complaints and doesn’t necessarily inhibit a listener from enjoying their time listening to the album. If you’ve been waiting for the new M83, it’s here in full effect and it is definitely worth your time and money.
Favorite Tracks: Go! and Laser Gun
[tw-toggle title=”Junk Tracklist”]
- Do It, Try It
- Go! (featuring Mai Lan)
- Walkway Blues (featuring Jordan Lawlor)
- Bibi the Dog (featuring Mai Lan)
- Moon Crystal
- For the Kids (featuring Susanne Sundfor)
- The Wizard
- Laser Gun (featuring Mai Lan)
- Road Blaster
- Atlantique Sud (featuring Mai Lan)
- Time Wind (featuring Beck)
- Sunday Night 1987
Total Length: 55 minutes and 40 seconds.