Despite its complete lack of subtlety, M83's first album earned an inexplicable amount of great press from the critics. Although comparisons with "wall of sound" merchants like My Bloody Valentine or Sigur Ros were clearly in evidence, 'Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts' sounded contrived, overblown and bereft of any emotional reach. Still, those who enjoyed that record will doubtless enjoy this one. Once again the songs are hammered home via obvious vocal effects, thunderstorms of keyboard washes and some terrible spoken word contributions. In the latter case, a track called 'Car Chase Terror' is dominated by some dialogue from a laughably trite attempt at creating a horror movie atmosphere. Equally unforgiveable is the decision to use Bach's 'Air On A G String' as the foundation to 'Safe' where the simple beauty of the classical original is murdered by a group of sickly choirpersons. However, there are a few tracks which survive the wreckage. The single 'Don't Save Us From The Flames' and 'Teen Angst' set the controls for "otherworldly" but at least they have the melodies which justify the bombastic production. 'Farewell/Goodbye' evokes the wintry soundscapes of the considerably more refined approach adopted by Julian Fane whilst 'Fields, Shorelines And Hunters' conjures up some appealingly dark atmospheres. It now seems that M83 main man Anthony Gonzales is the Jean-Michel Jarre of dreampop; producing spectacular arrangements but beneath the pyrotechnics, it's an ultimately soulless experience.