• Band Name: M83
  • Record Label: Mute
  • Release Date: Apr 15, 2008
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. For all the awe kindled by the effectively perfect sound in a transcendent highlight like 'Kim & Jessie,' the real triumph is that M83 uses such a setting for more simple melody and emotion than ever before.
  2. Saturdays=Youth contains some of the band's best songs to date. [Spring 2008, p.77]
  3. Saturdays=Youth meaningfully diversifies M83's catalog while retaining Gonzalez's indelible fingerprint.
  4. Of course it’s cheeseball, as we all were at that age. But that’s ultimately what makes this accessible, highly-listenable album a reinvigoration of both catalogue and genre.
  5. Like it or not, the 1980s are part of who we are and Gonzales' homage to the decade is the closest thing to perfect he's achieved.
  6. Nonetheless, Saturdays = Youth finds itself in the higher echelons of '08 so far for radically different reasons, and, unpredictedly, it wouldn't be too surprising if M83's decision to avoid making a by-the-numbers album saw those overdue dividends finally reaching them.
  7. As super-stylized as its sounds and emotions are, Saturdays=Youth always seems genuine, even when it feels like its songs are made from the memories of other songs.
  8. The clear standout, though, is 'Kim & Jessie,' which convincingly recaptures the magic gloss of Tears for Fears with a propulsive undercurrent and an elegant use of space. One of the best songs of 2008 so far, it’s the key destination in a stunning journey.
  9. And though analog synthesizer remains definitional of the M83's sound, they open the arrangements to include more naturalistic instrumentation as well. The approach allows this band named for a galaxy to seem more grounded, and yet more universal, than ever before.
  10. 80
    On fourth album Saturdays=Youth, the warm synthesizers are still in play and Gonzalez’s propensity for beguiling bombast is undiminished, but by imposing structure and melodic discipline on these sprawling compositions, he’s made them even more elegant and effective.
  11. Fans of previous M83 albums should still enjoy Saturdays as it doesn't veer too far from the template established on the past few albums.
  12. This is an album steeped in a generation’s worth of nostalgia, but unlike most rehashed coming-of-age exercises, Saturdays = Youth manages, in its own small way, to offer something entirely new.
  13. Predictably there’s a slide towards more abstracted material toward the latter half, and parts of Saturdays=Youth are all hairspray and no body, but the whole thing sweeps along with such an irrepressible mix of youthful invincibility (‘We Own The Sky’) and flouncing fatalism (‘Too Late’, ‘Graveyard Girl’) it sucks the wind right out of your cheeks before you’ve had chance to huff.
  14. 70
    Filled with ambitious production and winsome nostalgia, Saturdays is an otherworldly chronicle of adolescence only a starry-eyed 20-something could make.
  15. M83's latest flight into the synthesized stratosphere is so steeped in '80s influence, it;s as if teen filmmaker John Hughes was lurking behind the keyboards. [June 2008, p.137]
  16. Though nothing quite reaches the heights of past work, there's ambience to spare on "We Own the Night" and the lush "Highway of Endless Dreams."
  17. Anthony Gonzalez nurtures nostalgia but isn't enslaved by it, and Saturdays=Youth teems with equal parts ache and pomp as a result.
  18. If you go back to the touchpoints of the era in terms of music, there's certainly plenty of awful lyrics, and while I can often overlook lyrics if the music itself is strong, Saturdays = Youth sometimes lapses into a sort of emo shoegazer feel that's simply a bit too sickly-sweet for me.
  19. [A] disappointment. [Spring 2008, p.77]
  20. To call Saturdays=Youth derivative is to pay it a compliment, because every retro synth sounds calibrated to provide the maximum nostalgic rush.
  21. A real mixed bag, then--M83 still show plenty of guile and in their best moments present music of hidden power and grace.
  22. Surprisingly, the least pop-based tracks stand out most.
  23. So Saturdays=Youth isn’t an unqualified success, and probably won’t be as warmly welcomed by fans as M83’s previous albums have been. Still, there are plenty of moments on the disc that remind you why this pulsing, layered music is so powerful.
  24. 50
    M83's new effort saunters like a slow dance from "Sixteen Candles." [Mar/Apr 2008, p.109]
  25. 50
    M83 needs to step out of the '80s, and back into the future. [Apr 2008, p.100]
  26. With the exception of the engorged 'Couleurs,' 'Dark Moves of Love's' lift into the stratosphere, and the ambient feather-on-the-breath drones of 'Midnight Souls Still Remain,' Saturdays = Youth is strangely leaden, an album fenced off by its conceptual constraints.
  27. 40
    Saturdays=Youth is embarrassingly earnest. [May 2008, p.102]
  28. Halfway through, though, Gonzalez's self-indulgence gets the better of him and you're left with half-baked ideas and little else. [June 2008, p.145]
  29. I’m deflated again, as all Gonzalez does with this blank canvas for electronic experimentation is cycle two chords over and over with a little synth sprinkled on top.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. Oct 16, 2013
    10
    best album everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  2. Oct 24, 2011
    9
    Love this album, much more different to the previous M83 albums dumping their trademark shoegaze/dream pop sound in favour of a more 80's new wave/ synth pop sound. Full Review »
  3. Aug 11, 2011
    9
    S=Y taps into nostalgia and that is what makes this record so amazing. Though being pretty much different from their previous albums, it's definitely their best. I thought "Don't save us from the flames" would be their best song but once I've listened to this record, I changed my mind. "You, appearing" made me believe there's still real magic in music. Full Review »