Saturdays = Youth

Studio Album by released in 2008

Saturdays = Youth review

M83: heir of French musical tradition

If we can consider US to be the main suppliers of Hip-Hop and R&B, England – a motherland of young indie bands than France obviously takes a leading place in electronic music. It may be true that there are not so many world-famed artists in this country but still the French have got something like historical tradition in this genre, which was successfully founded by such a great musician as Jean Michele Jarre. The tradition was taken up by Air – probably the most popular French act on the contemporary world scene and now we can witness a formation of a new heir called M83. There is only one man behind this title – Antony Gonzalez. He is young and pretty ambitious. At his 26 he has achieved some enviable results – his albums are popular on both sides of Atlantic and separate tracks are used in movies and advertisement trailers of major companies. This year he released his new album Saturdays=Youth, which became the fifth record in M83’s discography.

Vocal as a part of arrangement

The visitors of M83's official site are offered to get acquainted with a half-promotional, sentimental story of how much Gonzalez misses the teenager period of his life. Hence is the album's title. Honestly speaking, it’s not an original concept but luckily the content of the record justifies such costs. According to Gonzalez himself he wanted to make something soft and quiet that was different from his previous records. Partly this is true. Unlike M83's early post-rock experiments new album looks more peacefully indeed. In contrast to the previous works it looks more compact. The material features more vocals, it seems like Gonzalez started applying a more songwriting technique while composing his music. However a feeling of something global and cosmic is almost omnipresent therefore vocals in his interpretation look like a part of arrangement or like another musical instrument. The album's single Graveyard Girl looks really exemplifying in this sense. The vocal sounds very illusively and merges into flows of keyboards and guitar chords.

Futuristic atmosphere of Saturdays=Youth

In fact, the basic peculiarity of a new record lies in that fact that Gonzalez tries to reconstruct the sound of 80's. This not a new idea and of course Gonzalez could have invented something more original but on the whole everything sounds quite good. In particular, it is worth paying attention to Skin Of The Night. This is a full-fledged song with vocals a la Mylene Farmer and vintage disco beat. Another great song is Up, which looks like a sonic illustration for futuristic literature. As a whole, the album sounds quite even, all the songs possess some sort of a sci-fi and sometimes mystic atmosphere. In this sense M83 really looks like a heir of French electronic tradition. Gonzalez creates volumetric sonic canvases and never overburdens them with redundant instrumental complexities. But honestly speaking, that fact that he serves everything with dressing of 80’s spoils the overall impression a little bit. This popular tendency looks extremely unoriginal. However, despite everything, the album still sounds very pleasant. Saturdays=Youth is strong enough to attract crowds of admirers of electronic music.