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Album review: M83, ‘Junk’

Album cover of M83, "Junk" 08albumreview4

For his follow-up to “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming,” his ’80s-pop symphony of 2011, M83 frontman Anthony Gonzalez used all the flashy gimmicks the ’70s and ’80s had to offer for the alien-like productoin of “Junk.” On the lead single, “Do It, Try It,” he mimics ABBA’s garish theatrics, the punchy dance-piano riff leading into a dramatic, pounding chorus while synths flutter and drone throughout. “Go!,” with robotically stuttering vocals from Mai Lan, takes flight in its bright, horn-accompanied chorus, leading up to an explosive Steve Vai guitar solo. Vai consumes the song’s entire bridge with his sweeping tap showcase, of a kind that died in popularity after Van Halen. Likewise, throughout the album Gonzalez takes stuff that’s now considered cheesy junk, and reimagines it within the ethereal M83 sound. The result is less serious than his last release — the kind of thing we might hear back from aliens in response to radio waves that escaped our stratosphere long ago.

Essential “Go!”

M83 performs at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion July 21.

John Paul Stapleton can be reached at john.stapleton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnP_Stapleton
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