Saturdays = Youth by M83 (2008)


Have you ever received a gift from someone that you weren’t expecting, didn’t realize you needed, but then can’t fathom how you ever got along without it? Today is that day, because I am giving you the gift of Saturdays = Youth. Well, I’m not actually “giving” it to you, but if you download this record as a result of reading my blog, I suspect that your life will change for the better.

Although Saturdays = Youth was released in 2008, it is an 80s record. M83 (aka musician Anthony Gonzalez) went all-in with this concept album, doing his best to adapt the modern sounds of 2008 to the styling of every John Hughes film soundtrack that you ever loved as a child. One listen to ‘Kim & Jessie’ will have you convinced that those were the names of the lead characters in your favorite childhood flick. I don’t know/care what the song is about, because this stuff is 100% mood. The beats, drum machines, and childlike melodies in this tune take you back to the decade of jelly bracelets. Not sold? Play ‘Graveyard Girl’ and close your eyes…the 2:30 mark should do the trick:

This record is perfectly executed…the modern production capabilities of 2008 have removed the clunky shackles of 80s recording methods. So what if the keyboards are digitally manipulated instead of recorded in a studio by a dude in women’s clothing? It’s like someone drove a functional 83 Camaro into West Coast Customs to get their ride pimped, and drove out with a Bluray player in the touchscreen dash.

Looking for more 80s twists? ‘Couleurs’ gives you some pounding modern beats over rhythms in the tempo of Knight Rider. ‘Up!’ is a throwback to 80s vocal classics like ‘This Woman’s Work’ or ‘Toy Soldiers’. ‘Highway of Endless Dreams’ really sells the “soundtrack” look of the album, by providing a primarily instrumental backdrop that any director would love to throw behind their movie’s climactic moment. ‘Too Late’ flows in and out like the tide, grabbing a hold of the listener with dramatic piano and harmonies. But the glory of the 80s culminates at ‘We Own the Sky’, which is just a beautiful combination of everything I’ve already said about Saturdays = Youth in one dynamite track.

If you have any love in your heart for the movies that define the decade of my youth, I suggest that you run to your local mp3 store and pick up this treasure. Take a listen from start to finish, and you’ll revisit the emotional reaction you may have had to Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club. But let’s be honest…M83 has really cleaned up the 80s era with this effort. The sounds and structure of Saturdays = Youth may have sounded like an alien transmission if it were actually released in the 80s. So maybe it doesn’t represent what we really went through back then…but it certainly represents the way we fantasize about it!

You’re welcome.

music turtle recommends: LIKE, TOTALLY BUY THIS!

What do you think about this album? Comment below


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