I have been listening to M83's latest album "Digital Shades Volume 2" for a couple weeks now. After a few complete listening, I have found it to be enjoyable.
Being a big M83 fan, I was drawn in by the big list of 80's films and video games that were used as inspiration for this album.
Anthony has this to say about it:
"Digital Shades Vol. 2 is, in my opinion, far more advanced than Digital Shades Vol. 1. The first volume was way less ambitious and didn’t require as much energy and work. I was also 26 years old at that time. I had different goals, taste in music and knowledge. With Digital Shades Vol. 2, I wanted to come back with something stronger that featured the depth of a proper studio album without the pressure of providing pop music."
And I think he succeeded in his goal. However, initially, I felt a bit let down like I did with the album "Junk". You see, leading up to the album's release, three singles were released. Like with "Do it, try it" and "Go!" on the Junk album, I had expected that the entire album would be similar to those songs. However, they are the only ones on the album which have this style. But also like the album Junk, I found that after a few complete play throughs I enjoyed the album for what it was.
My favorite tracks are below:
1: Lune De Fiel
This track reminds me of epic JRPGs and 80's fantasy movies.
2: Temple of Sorrow
Feels like it could be right at home in a Zelda game.
3: Hell Riders
Takes a couple minutes to get going, but is a great opener for the album.
4: Goodbye Captain Lee
Sounds great with headphones, and invokes feelings of old TV scifi.
This was the third video released before the album came out. While the short film was a bit out there, the song by itself is pretty amazing.
And while not one of my absolute favorites, the track "A Word of Wisdom
" feels like it could have been a B-side for the "Junk" album. My daughter picked up on the song "Lunar Son
", and put to words what I couldn't quite express: That it sounds inspired by the game "Harvest Moon". It could totally be the music playing inside your house.
While I do not have a super audiophile turntable setup, the pressing sounds decent. Unfortunately, the album is without extras. You get the double gate-fold album, pressed in pink and white vinyl. The cover art is amazing, the inside contains only track listing and credits. The back is plain with the track list again. There are no special inserts, or posters, and no digital download is included. To avoid the big "A", I used the order link on M83's website, which directed me to Mute for US fulfillment. Shipping was almost 1/3 of the album cost, so I was a bit let down overall with the physical product itself.
If you are a fan of older M83 music, and can imagine DSV1 and Junk blended together, than you should be pleased with this album. If you know only of "Saturdays=Youth" and "Hurry up, We're dreaming", than this is probably not for you.