Knife + Heart (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Knife + Heart is the first M83 release since 2016, their third feature film soundtrack, and the first album to feature both Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau since 2003.
As Knife + Heart is the soundtrack for a “noir-tinged erotic slasher” (directed by Gonzalez’ brother Yann) and was partly inspired by old porn movie soundtracks, this album is an edgier, more experimental release than other M83 albums. Part ambient, part alternative electronica, Knife + Heart sees M83 moving away from previous masterpieces like 2011’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and towards a less accessible, more exploratory sound.
However, as a standalone album, Knife + Heart unfortunately falls short. With 27 tracks, it would have been stronger as a condensed, more cohesive package, as short melodies like “Vision 1” and “Filature” bog down the album and take away from the overall listening experience.
There are redeeming qualities, as M83 captures a uniquely grimy, retro aesthetic that showcases their musical creativity. The dark techno vibe of “Karl” suits the nature of the film, while groovy “Detective Rachid” sounds like the theme for a Japanese anime from the 1980s. Finally, the dynamics of “Un couteau dans le coeur” are reminiscent of Ennio Morricone’s famous music for Sergio Leone’s films. Other tracks have potential, but don’t make an impact (“Lettre Lois” could be an interesting ambient piece if given time to develop).
All in all, M83 deserves respect for making a unique soundtrack; however, as an album, it is does not provide enough to warrant repeated listens.