Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Top 12 Songs of All-Time...Right Now: #11

Single from the album Saturdays = Youth
Single Release Date: February 25, 2008
Billboard Heatseekers Albums Peak Position: 1
Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums Peak Position: 4
Billboard 200 Peak Position: 107
* The single never charted in the U.S.

A near-180 from yesterday’s entry, we go from stream-of-consciousness stoner rap over sitars and slide guitar to an epic, eight-minute electro experience. M83 first caught my attention in 2008 with their outstanding album Saturdays = Youth, particularly the retro-tinged single “Kim & Jessie”. However, as I delved further into the album and their discography, I realized they have some pretty powerful epics. I was fortunate to see them live in NYC for my birthday in 2009, and to this day, my two favorite live performances are from that show: “A Guitar and a Heart” (from 2005’s Before the Dawn Heals Us) and “Couleurs”.

It was very difficult to decide on which M83 song to place. “Run into Flowers” is a beautiful, evocative piece, but unfortunately did not translate well live. “A Guitar and a Heart” is propulsive and loud, gradually building up to an unforgettably intense ending that translates well through any medium. “Couleurs” seemed to win out on its balance of both worlds. It is one of those ambient electronic songs that does all of the work, as it completely and totally immerses the listener. It grows and expands until it hits full stride, with all components creating a grandiose, nocturnal atmosphere that almost induces spontaneous dancing. The second half breaks it down without missing a beat, as it changes gears while not allowing any particular part overstay its welcome. In essence, “Couleurs” is an experience, propelling the listener into a different world…a blissful, brilliant world.

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