Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #90 M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, & Lost Ghosts
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#90 M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, & Lost Ghosts
Although a self-titled album was released in 2001, technically their debut, M83 was introduced to the world with 2003's Dead Cities, Red Seas, & Lost Ghosts - an album that was effectively shoegaze, but significantly less guitar-driven. Drenched in layers upon layers of synthesizers and drum machines, Dead Cities… was as inorganic as a Sausage McMuffin. But, somewhere in the multitude of melodies and synthetic sounds, emotions began to rise up that, ironically, made the record sound organic.
As each songs passes by on Dead Cities… new images are conjured, ones that play like a drive through the British countryside at lightning speed. There are twists and turns, greens and grays, hills and valleys. There is something pastoral about this album that is in stark contrast to its composition, like a baseball diamond's outfield - natural, but manmade. Walls of sound are built like fortress barriers, then crumble to ash and drift off into the brisk air. "Unrecorded" is built upon a layer of distorted guitars, static fuzz, and synthetic strings - a mile in width - while artificial twinkles flutter in and out. Then, the clouds part and the sun breaks free, the wall of sound collapses and disappears as quickly as it came. "Run Into Flowers" is built from the top down, synthesizers creating thick skin while quivering sounds and voices beat like the heart, thumping faster and faster. And, when their threat to burst seems inevitable, the wall drops, only to build once more to the end.