As a seasoned and grizzled album reviewer, I am not prone to hyperbole. That being said, the new Fenech-Soler album Rituals is the greatest piece of art ever produced on planet Earth.
We can stop making music now, guys – the pinnacle has been reached. It’s all downhill from here.
There has never been, and will never be, an album that is better than Rituals.
Some day, thousands of years from now, when sentient apes rule the planet, they will look back at this album’s release and bow their shaggy heads in shame, knowing that they will never accomplish anything equally great.
To be honest, we should have seen this coming.
When Fenech-Soler released their eponymous debut album in 2010, it sent waves across the world of electropop, combining bumping synth beats with jangly guitar and glittering falsetto vocals.
With Rituals, the groove continues but on a more epic scale.
These are songs with ambition.
Take the mid-album track “Magnetic,” which builds from a simple, groovy synth pattern into a drum-pounding cacophony.
Good synthpop brings explosive dance club energy right into your living room, and “Magnetic” will have you checking your surroundings to make sure you haven’t been teleported across the Atlantic to the basement floor of a London club.
If there is one thing that characterizes Fenech-Soler’s brand of electropop, it is the fact that, even in relatively subdued tracks like “Maiyu,” the beat is never out of sight. The intensity may rise and fall, but the foot-tapping backbone remains. And while the British band is not afraid to slow down from time to time – “Two Cities” and “Rituals II” in particular abandon frenetic intensity for a soulful, measured groove – their affection for bustling rhythm always resurfaces.
It occurs to me that, like statistics about the number of obese people in the United States, the greatness of this album can be hard to wrap your mind around. Therefore, I have prepared some helpful facts.
If everyone on Earth listened to this album at the same time, the combined force of 8 billion feet tapping would knock the planet off its orbit and send it crashing into the sun.
If we could somehow convince all the members of Congress to listen to this album, it would put them in such a great mood that they would all decide to compromise and figure out the government shutdown and debt ceiling debates overnight.
“[Rituals is] like everything I expected from M83,” said my friend Taylor “The Dusa” Poppell, describing the album better in a single sentence than I could in an entire review.
If you have ears and you do not purchase Rituals for $7.99 on iTunes immediately, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice.
For awe-inspiring beats and a smooth, groovy aftertaste, I give Rituals six stars out of five.
– By Justin Groot
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