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M83’s Junk

Michael Quick

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When people look back at the music of the 1980’s, they tend to see something bombastic, grand, and even a little bloated from excess, and Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez is no exception. Gonzalez and the rest of M83 have been using the eighties as a source of inspiration for more than a decade now for their emotion- based electronica, leading up to their phenomenal, Grammy- nominated 2011 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. The album harnessed everything extravagant about the eighties, and made it beautiful and rich sounding. Now, 2016’s Junk has gone in a bit of the opposite direction. While Hurry Up,

M83 (Photo obtained via Facebook)

M83 (Photo obtained via Facebook)

We’re Dreaming made the eighties look pretty and gorgeous, Junk makes it look a bit clichéd and silly. Inspired by television theme songs from the eighties, the album includes things people would not expect to hear on a modern day album, most noticeably, a keytar.
However, while the keytar is not necessarily a “cool” or often heard instrument now, it’s use in the song “Solitude” is definitely cool. As is the wonderfully epic guitar solo on “Go!” courtesy of eighties guitar- shredding legend Steve Vai, and the guest vocals of French singer Mai Lan. This is music that is solidly built for festivals and fun, almost party- style venues where people can just have an enjoyable time.

The true issue with this album, however, is the fact that it seems as if Gonzalez is running out of ideas. While the Junk is very much as solid and enjoyable album, the cheesy and goofy side of the eighties is not exactly a great source of inspiration for the year 2016 and onward. So, while this album is due some praise, the next album may leave some very skeptical.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
M83’s Junk