Serene and nostalgic, expansive ’80s mood piece M83’s best yet
Frequently making music to test your speakers with, M83 has always been keen on orchestrated drama. With guitars gliding across translucent synth lines, the songs are big statements rendered in cold neon. The dazzling thing about M83 maestro Anthony Gonzalez’s fifth effort is his uncanny success at recapturing the heart-leaping whirl of his generation’s ’80s touchstones. An admitted John Hughes tribute, “Graveyard Girl” collides Ride and the Cocteau Twins in an Encino arcade while “We Own the Sky” is heady digital shoegaze for a fog-filled ice bar. The clear standout, though, is “Kim & Jessie,” which convincingly recaptures the magic gloss of Tears for Fears with a propulsive undercurrent and an elegant use of space. One of the best songs of 2008 so far, it’s the key destination in a stunning journey.