Anthony Gonzalez, the mastermind behind M83, is back with his ninth studio album “Fantasy.” After the global success of his sixth album “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” and its hit song “Midnight City,” Gonzalez admits that the overwhelming success was almost too much for him to handle. In a recent interview with NME, he said, “Maybe I didn’t deserve it, and maybe I’m just a small indie artist that wants to make small indie albums.”
In an attempt to shun commercialism and reclaim his narrative, Gonzalez turns to the ’80s shoegaze sounds he grew up on, as well as the immersive worlds of film soundtracks and video game music. The result is a huge, fizzing world of sound that’s designed to feel as awe-inspiring as possible. From the new wave of “Amnesia” to the off-the-wall weirdness of seven-minute closer “Dismemberment Bureau,” Gonzalez has made the most far-reaching album of his career.
While “Fantasy” remains sugary and dreamlike, it’s entirely free of compromise. Despite Gonzalez’s attempts to pull away from success, his status as a cult hero looks secure. His penchant for an earworm – intentional or not – remains undeniable.
However, against the artist’s creative wishes, there’s a lead single that steals the show. “Oceans Niagara” is M83 at his dazzling best, creating layer upon layer of enormous shoegaze noise. The song is powerful enough to have any dream projected onto it and points to a beautifully bright future for the M83 project.
In conclusion, M83’s “Fantasy” is a successful attempt to retreat from commercialism and embrace shoegaze. While the album may get a little messier and more unfocused from time to time, the lead single “Oceans Niagara” shows that Gonzalez’s creative vision remains intact. With his status as a cult hero secured, M83 continues to dazzle and inspire with his sugary, dreamlike soundscapes.