M83 - Heart + Knife (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Knife + Heart
It feels like it is probably Trent Reznor's fault that so many producers are trying their hand at movie soundtracks as of late. I used to not like to review these records, but as more and more of my favorites give it a go it seems silly to not. Dan Deacon, Explosions in the Sky and now M83 have all thrown their hats into the Hollywood ring as of late. The movies are typically smaller in scale and thus the producers have the chance to really do something different with these compositions. It's great that it allows these artists to stretch out and do something different, but it also means that proper albums will be delayed. That's where we land with M83. His most recent full release Junk was odd and clunky, totally missing on the things that made him great. It felt like a concept gone awry and ledt you thinking that the well had dried up for this artist. Work on the soundtrack for Arrival the Amy Adams movie saw a few peaks of inspiration, but it was more other songs on that soundtrack that set it apart. So here we are with Knife + Heart an erotic slasher set in 1970's Paris. The music however is almost entirely synth and electronic driven. Little delicate compositions are intertwined with acoustic guitar to create moments that are pretty but often a bit devoid of magic. A soundtrack is supposed to bost the scenes of the film, but it's also supposed to evoke those emotions all on it's own. This record just sort of feels like background noise.
While some of the music is nice there is almost nothing that resembles M83 here. The bold electronics are gone, the dark twinge is missing and the short tracks blip into existence then disappear with little fanfare. "Detective Rachid" feels a lot like the music from Junk, springy electronics and a weird somewhat 70s quality to it. With some soundtracks the music is able to transport you straight to the scene, but this one never seems to accomplish that. The music feels really distant and unapproachable, big at times but always far in the distance. "Le Tueur homo" is similar, grabbing on to this sepia tone vibe and sticking with it pretty hard. It makes sense since this film is set in the 70s, but it comes across super fucking goofy. Maybe this record just doesn't do enough to separate itself from the film, or maybe that's the point, but as a whole Heart + Knife really misses the mark. There are not even songs you want to bob your head to. M83 seems to be walking a path that doesn't quite make sense or tie to the things He has already done. Who knows what the future hold, but I sure hope it ain't this.
4.0 out of 10