Saturdays = Youth contains most of the characteristic elements that have made up the M83 sound over the past few albums, and then adds a couple more. In addition to the more obvious carryovers from previous efforts (the vintage keyboards, the thicker-than-mud production sound, the wispy vocals as floating texture, the really long and ambient closing track), leader Anthony Gonzalez has finally let loose with what can only be considered his pop album.
Not pop as in pablum radio conformity, but rather as in the sort of immediate, catchy and simple pop that has occasionally succeeded throughout the years. It's touchstone is some of the more thoughtful alterna-pop acts from the 80s. If you can summon some influence from Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, and perhaps even some Psychedelic Furs, then you're part of the way there.
The album starts off with the dreamy intro of "You, Appearing," before settling into the more poppish groove of "Kim & Jessie" you'll be enjoying for the bulk of the record. Musically, things veer towards a combination of classic M83 and shoegazer rock as filtered through this new lens of 80's new wave pop. Between the song titles and the artwork, the aim seems to be not so much a snapshot of a bygone youth, but a living time capsule.
In the cover photo, we see all the kids simultaneously expressing their individuality of style while revelling in the exact same hopes, fears, losses and love. In the song "Up!" we hear lyrics which express the same feelings ("Oh we flee the scene of our little crime / We feel so free / But the hounds of law they bite our heels / As we retreat / Up to planets up to the bodies / Of the galaxy we fly we feed we suck we bleed we need"). Many of the songs also feature the new dual boy and girl vocals from Anthony and newcomer Morgan Kibby.