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With “Solitude,” it’s time to hit the panic button on M83

M83 "Junk"

If singles from forthcoming albums could function as metaphorical precursors, the first two stinkers samples from M83’s upcoming release are two gargantuan red panic buttons. Maybe even cannon-sized road flares. Mr. M83 is not doing himself any favors with the ridiculous album cover for the April release of “Junk.” It reminds me of when Homer’s brother Herb allowed him to design a new car aptly named “the Homer.”

Related: Most Anticipated Albums of 2016: Indie

We hung in there through the drop of the first single “Do It, Try It.” After multiple listens, the sense of a rock opera meets ’70s B-film-gone-awry soundtrack sunk in. Even after revisiting multiple weeks later, the bad taste of last night’s hangover lingered.

Based on the strength of the Frenchman’s catalog, we could let that one slide and chalk it up to experimentation. That was until last night when Anthony Gonzalez dropped another bomb on fans with “Solitude,” a self indulgent single that loses the plot mid-song. What’s more alarming is how much of a bummer the second single makes us feel, as if the Mute artist tore a page out of Air’s playbook for the “the Virgin Suicides.”

In the end, the eagerly anticipated album is shaping up to be a hiccup in an otherwise stellar body of work, ala U2’s “Pop.” For now, we’re cautiously un-optimistic. Look for “Junk” to hit the streets April 8 and a massive tour later this year, including a visit to Red Rocks on May 31.

Related: M83 at the Ogden Theatre, 4/30/12 (photos and review)

M83 2016 U.S. Tour Dates

April 6 – New Orleans, LA – The Civic Theatre
April 8 – Dallas, TX – Bomb Factory
April 9 – Houston, TX – TBD
April 10 – Austin, TX – Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater
April 12 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
April 13 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
April 15 – Indio, CA – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
April 16 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
April 17 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
April 22 – Indio, CA – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
April 23 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Club
April 25 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
April 26 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
April 27 – Missoula, MT – The Wilma
April 29 – Edmonton, AB – Winspear Centre
April 30 – Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle Event Centre
May 27-30 – The Gorge, WA – Sasquatch Music Festival
May 31 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 4 – New York, NY – The Governors Ball Music Festival
June 6 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion (with Tame Impala)