Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. M83 is a keyboard band of the best kind: one with nuance, tone, thrash, and color.
  2. Simply put, this album sounds absolutely huge, its relentless attention to detail eclipsed only by the stunning emotional power it conveys.
  3. As monumental as Dead Cities sounds in parts, its uniformity proves oppressively stirring after just a few tracks.
  4. A Herculean instrumental epic of beautiful depth, staggering grandiosity and extraterrestrial soundscapes. [#7]
  5. 92
    There's an organic component that coexists along with the machines, giving them a warmth few acts have been able to unearth. [#11, p.93]
  6. In Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, M83 have created an ethereal electronic masterpiece, and one which, thankfully, doesn't sound like a relic from the Warp Records back catalogue.
  7. 80
    That [M83] achieve My Bloody Valentine beauty through antiquated analog rigs is an achievement in itself. [#64, p.100]
  8. The whole much greater than its parts, Dead Cities is creation imbued and then muted again.
  9. Although at times M83 evoke Jean-Michel Jarre or Air, this is far from being an album of Franco-synth by numbers; it is the layered, hypertextual futurism of My Bloody Valentine and Brian Eno which seeps through the electronic Gallic gauze as the most palpable influences.
  10. 90
    Immersive and woozy, brittle yet supple, a twittering, throttling piper of spectral drones. [Jul/Aug 2004, p.126]
  11. Few artists can master the trick of capturing ambience and atmosphere without resorting to cliche. M83 are among the few.
  12. Dead Cities reinforces the French pair's penchant for distorted vocals and cheesy synthesizers, but the tracks here ultimately add up to far less than the sum of their assorted parts.
  13. While I don't think that it's quite the groundbreaking release that many have given it credit for, there are definitely moments during the 12-track release that I feel like the group has cracked into something unique and downright amazing.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. turtlehead
    Feb 21, 2006
    3
    every few months i will put this on again, attempting to figure out what exactly is so appealing about it. I can't believe every person who gave this a 9 or 10 would have were it not for the huge critical reception. I find it almost impossible to make it from one end of the album to the other. Despite it being synthesized organ tones, it somehow manages to be more abrasive -- probably a result of its one (1) dynamic -- than any punk or metal or noise I've heard. Nobody I know ever actually listens to this. M83 did a song called "slowly" that i love, a good party song, but this album just wallows. I just wanted to say, to anyone considering buying this, to listen to some of it first, because its not really relaxing, interesting, fun...it's huge synth organs with synth blips and bleeps. you've been warned. DO NOT believe the hype surrounding this album. if you want epic, get some godspeed, if transcendant, maybe johann johannsen or the soundtrack to 2001 or something. The rating of their follow-up album reflects how well the debut keeps, i think. Cut the gimmick loose. Full Review »
  2. Feb 5, 2014
    10
    There is not an album I've listened to that has gotten close to matching the masterfully crafted aesthetics in this immense, powerful, gorgeous, and emotionally moving album by the one and only M83. Amazing work. Full Review »
  3. Oct 16, 2013
    10
    best album everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr