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If your favorite movie and TV show are still Back to the Future and Miami Vice respectively, if your favorite accessories are neon anything and hairspray, if you have actually used a cassette tape to listen to music in your lifetime (and not just because it was retro or faux-cool), then there is a good chance that Kavinsky has just the fresh throwback tunes you didn’t know you were craving. This French electronic music producer has dedicated his life to his three biggest passions: music, film, and the decade of decadence. ’80s kids are in luck because his new, totally radical album, Outrun, is the throwback that they need in 2013. Although the record comes 26 years after the arcade game that shares the same title, these 12 new and used tracks promise to wax nostalgic memories to the max.
Outrun’s first track, “Prelude,” starts off not unlike the beginning of a majority of comic books, video games and all coming-of-age tales. Just as one might anticipate from the song title, a narrator describes the dramatic background of the story’s faithful protagonist. Without giving away too much, Outrun listens like the soundtrack for a movie in which Kavinsky is an average guy who gains super-hero-like abilities and must rescue the woman he loves. And yes, he got his super powers from a car.
It’s truly a treat when an album comes along which not only tells a story, but does so primarily with instrumentals. Every track sets a tone and atmosphere for the listener to appreciate in a subjective manner while the original plot remains unchanged. All this, and Kavinsky still manages to subtly saturate Outrun with an abundance of ’80s pop culture references, many courtesy of rapper, Havoc, on “Suburbia.”
Although Kavinsky provides an awesome array of uptempo and downtempo songs while maintaining his signature style, many of the songs on Outrun are dated. “Nightcall,” for instance, was released as a popular single in 2010 and was produced alongside Guy-Manuel Homem-Christo, who also produces for Daft Punk and sung by CSS vocalist, Lovefoxxx. But, hey, if an album that is reminiscent of the ’80s can come out in 2013, then there is no problem putting a single released in 2010 on that same album.