M83: Fantasy – “A Cinematic Journey From Start To Finish”

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

M83’s newest release, Fantasy, is a stunning album that feels like a cinematic journey from start to finish.

The album is split into two chapters, with the first few songs being released as “Chapter 1” in early February. These songs set the stage thematically for the album, creating a warm and reflective mood that makes you want to blast the music with the windows down. Songs like “Water Deep,” “Us and the Rest,” and “Earth to Sea” evoke a sense of sadness and hopefulness that invite listeners to reflect on their own experiences.

The second act of the album, “Chapter 2,” kicks off with “Deceiver” and the title track “Fantasy,” both of which feature groovy hymnals with pan flute and African drums. The album reaches its peak with the standout track “Laura,” which takes on a darker, more urgent, sound featuring haunting vocals by bandmate Kaela Sinclair. This standout track then transitions into “Sunny Boy” and “Kool Nuit,” both of which could easily be taken from an old French mystery movie.

The album finds its resolution with “Sunny Boy Part 2” and “Dismemberment Bureau,” both of which have a slow and finalizing quality to them that brings the entire album together. M83’s Anthony Gonzalez has truly outdone himself with Fantasy, which is complex and nuanced, yet deeply personal and ambitious.

The album emulates the video game music of the 1980s, but with a modern twist that creates a unique and cohesive sound. Gonzalez isn’t trying to recreate nostalgia entirely, but instead reimagines it in a way that feels fresh and exciting. While the album clocks in at almost 70 minutes, Fantasy doesn’t feel like a chore to listen to. Instead, each song adds to the story that M83 is telling, creating a sense of depth and richness that makes Fantasy a truly enjoyable listen.

With its unique sound and compelling narrative, Fantasy is sure to be one of the standout albums of the year.

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