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M83: Saturdays = Youth

By SHARON STEEL  |  April 15, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
Saturdays = Youth is M83’s version of a high-school yearbook — aural snapshots documenting gilded angsty awkwardness in all its glory. The liner notes feature a sun-saturated photo shoot of a gang of sharp-dressed teens that could have been torn from a 1985 issue of Sassy. It’s hard to tell whether they’re the cool kids or the outcasts — but really, it doesn’t matter: romanticized confusion is the heart of Saturdays’ æsthetic. Because he grew up obsessing over John Hughes films and new-wave bands, M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez’s fourth full-length serves as both a tribute to and a reinterpretation of ’80s culture. Co-producers Ken Thomas (Sugarcubes, Cocteau Twins, Suede) and Ewan Pearson (the Rapture, Ladytron) assist in re-creating a series of ambient memories that are universally specific. You can marvel at the ringer for Molly Ringwald on the cover while listening to the shoegazy “Graveyard Girl” (an homage to Pretty in Pink); you can take a lonely suburban summer drive to the electro anthem “We Own the Sky”; and “Kim & Jessie” is equally suited to moping or making out in your parents’ basement. This is an album steeped in a generation’s worth of nostalgia, but unlike most rehashed coming-of-age exercises, Saturdays = Youth manages, in its own small way, to offer something entirely new.

M83 | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | June 2 | 617.864.EAST
  Topics: CD Reviews , Anthony Gonzalez , Ewan Pearson , John Hughes ,  More more >
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