3You're So Vain, I Bet You Think This List Is About You

It's that time of year, everyone: Christmas = Top Ten lists! Or a subtly-doctored Top Fifty if you're the NME. Far be it from me to randomly decide this is what you need to hear, but I've had to construct a list anyway for the website I write for, and as I haven't got anything specific to rant or rave about at the moment, I'll update you slot by slot.

So: Number Ten

M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us

M83's last record (Dead Cities, Red Seas And Lost Ghosts) was a bona-fide classic, and my record of 2003. Their eponymous debut showed some promise, but lacked the scope and grandeur of Dead Cities... This record was awash with huge swathes of MBV-styled guitar, synths so retro you could almost hear bits breaking off them, and beats the size of massive robots, or something.
Released in January, Before The Dawn Heals Us took the blueprint maybe a little too far - in some places bombastic to the point of overblown, utilising long segments of dramatic film excerpt and dynamic shifts to the nth degree, nevertheless it manages to retain a charm and interest throughout.

However, it's live that the band shine - put the new record in context against Dead Cities..., and it starts to make a whole lot more sense, the newer songs seeming like a more reasonable extrapolation of the vision of the previous record. Maybe the music landscapes aren't as new and perplexing as they were last time round, but through sheer force and weight behind the music, M83 have managed to pull it out of the bag. So, perhaps not as impressive as their previous set, still worth a butchers hook.

Sample today: http://s60.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=284DBQSZCRR3R28WRN73OIT9JW
Moonchild: the album's opening track - see for yourself the Cecil B DeMille approach to post-rock/electronica: everything a bit bigger than everyone else

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