M83 Albums Ranked

M83 is a French electronic music project formed in Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes in 1999 and currently based in Los Angeles, United States. The band’s primary member is vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer Anthony Gonzalez. The band was initially formed as a duo also with Nicolas Fromageau; it has released eight albums and two soundtracks, including the Grammy Award-nominated Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Gonzalez and Fromageau parted ways shortly after touring their second album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. Gonzalez records primarily on his own, with other artists as guest musicians. The band is signed to Mute Records and found international success in 2011 with the single “Midnight City”. Their most recent album DSVII (the sequel of Digital Shades Vol. 1) was released on 20 September 2019. Here are all of the M83 albums ranked.

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10. Knife + Heart, 2019

Knife + Heart (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Album by M83 | Spotify

“I am so glad this brilliant work of art exists in a CD form as well as the digital one. Simple yet gorgeous artwork, no booklet inside and as for the music…No words to describe it. if you haven’t already, do watch the film and buy the soundtrack. Support the artists. I believe that every single tune heard in the movie is actually included in this truly unique musical experience. This is a must-have!”

9. DSVII, 2019

M83 - DSVII | Album Review

“Absolutely magical album. Feels like you’re being taken on a fantastic, whimsical adventure. Pays homage to the classic synth greats showing hints of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, which hits me particularly in all the right places.”

8. Digital Shades Vol. 1, 2007

M83: Digital Shades Vol. 1 Album Review | Pitchfork

“Digital Shades Vol. 1 seems to have had a chilly reception from M83’s followers, but I suspect this is because many people come to it looking for an album in the same tradition as Dead Cities or Before the Dawn Heals Us. That isn’t actually what the Digital Shades project is about though – rather, it’s M83 main man Anthony Gonzalez creating a purely ambient electronic album, rather than resorting to the dream pop-shoegaze-post-rock-electronic mashup that M83 made their name with.”

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7. Oblivion (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), 2013

M83 - Oblivion (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Lyrics and Tracklist |  Genius

“One of the more pompous film soundtracks. I listened to the 30 track digital version. For most parts, the music is what I would call ambient and classical orchestral music, although the electronic is probably quite close, as I’m unsure whether or not they have used the only machinery here, or if they actually have real orchestral parts as well.”

6. M83, 2001

M83: M83 Album Review | Pitchfork

“M83’s debut album is steeped in modern electronica but shows flashes both of the occasional retro moments (flirtations with Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack in particular) as well as the very occasional sniff of the dream pop, shoegaze and post-rock influences which would become a more integral feature of the project’s sound on future releases.”

5. Junk, 2016

M83: Junk Album Review | Pitchfork

“Sesame Street goes to space. I wasn’t planning on listening until my buddy texted this was the return of shoegaze. Never a big fan of theirs was a bit leery. I don’t see that but an evolution from that post period. Its a solid Mid-90’s release with that French Space Pop Haze. The key song track is Solitude. Fait bein.”

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4. Before The Dawn Heals Us, 2005

M83: Before the Dawn Heals Us Album Review | Pitchfork

“In the song “Safe” in a rapture of explosions and angels and apocalypse, someone repeats ‘God, it’s so beautiful.’ It is the album in microcosm. This is hyper-modern romance. Hotel balconies, nighttime cityscapes, airport departure lounges. The semi-lucid, bewildering free fall terror of being in love and never knowing what’s coming next. Like looking back over the life and times of lost love, every time I listen to Before the Dawn Heals Us I feel differently about it. Also like love it is full of embarrassingly big moments and emotions that maybe you resist or maybe you get lost in, but no matter my feelings I’m always compelled to return to it. The defining feature of the album is its tendency toward too much all the time, a lack of restraint that is both its strength and its failing and what makes it such a contradictory experience.”

3. Saturdays = Youth, 2008

M83: Saturdays=Youth Album Review | Pitchfork

“Every once in a while I spin this record for the good of the evening, but it only happened once, that I put on my headphones, turned on the TV, set it on mute, and skipped channels randomly while on play. That time the whole thing became a speechless documentary of how social agenda interrupts art in our lives, and all characters on screen ended up spelling along the lyrics according to my consciousness.”

2. Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, 2003

M83 – Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (2003, CD) - Discogs

Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts is a great record. It’s arguably the most atmospheric M83 have ever been – including the albums that directly leaned towards ambient or movie scores – and if the mood they’ve picked is the unnerving first 40 minutes of a thriller film right before things begin to escalate, then so be it and they’ve pulled it off excellently.”

1. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2011

M83: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Album Review | Pitchfork

“Beautiful and big. M83 continues the exploration of the eighties through dreams and flashbacks which they started to do with their last album. This is a more declarative statement of nostalgia and it’s a longer excursion. The excavation leads them to depths of sadness long buried in the excess of neon nights and frosted hair. We have moments of lush, hushed synthesizer washes like a soundtrack to a drive along the Twin Peaks high way.”