Album Review

M83 - Fantasy

It ultimately fades into the background.

M83 - Fantasy
At one end, M83 is the massive synthscape of ‘Midnight City’, a track with almost ten times the audience of anything else from his two decades of releases thanks to its many television appearances. At the other, it’s the ambient-adjacent solo project of Anthony Gonzalez whose smaller sounds have soundtracked the big screen. That ‘Fantasy’ was recorded with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Wolf Alice, Paramore) alongside M83 multi-instrumentalist Joe Berry does indeed give that “band feel” he was after: there’s a rhythmic immediacy to the likes of ‘Sunny Boy’ and ‘Oceans Niagara’, a ‘70s soft rock lilt to ‘Radar, Far Gone’, ‘Deceiver’ and a pervasive warmth that’s only punctuated by ‘Amnesia’, a track which - with its ‘Atmosphere’-referencing opening and hollow guitar sound - is as if Joy Division were also joy by nature. Elsewhere ‘EIGHT’ takes on a disco hue with a decidedly funky bassline, while ‘Us and the Rest’ makes like Bon Iver-doing-Twin Peaks, building to a subtle-yet-epic conclusion. Like many other soundtracks, ‘Fantasy’ creates a mood - nostalgic; euphoric - and there’s a clear thread throughout that ties these thirteen tracks together. But soundtracks are also often intended to feature in the background, and ultimately ‘Fantasy’ too easily fades into it.

Tags: M83, Reviews, Album Reviews

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