June 15, 2021 — Prague-based synthwave artist Marvel 83’ recently released a new space-inspired album that includes some truly great tracks.
Marvel 83’s new release is (somewhat contradictorily) named Atlantis and can be categorized as a concept album. It provides a musical journey that makes listeners take off for the stars and even landing a spaceship, with most of its compositions bringing forth imagery of space travel using aptly selected synthesizer sounds. Not every track is a masterpiece, however, although there is much to enjoy about this album.
“Overall, Atlantis is an enjoyable album and one worth listening to for genre fans. The experimental angle of telling a story of space travel through carefully synthesized instrumentation succeed.”
The strongest track is decidedly the album’s titular ‘Atlantis’, and it is by far the most likable song. Apart from the delicious synth licks and high-hats that pepper the track, there is a sweet “In the air tonight” drum riff in the beginning that sets a great, moody, and spacious tone. If Marvel 83’ would have included more compositions like ‘Atlantis’, his album would have had the makings of a magnum opus masterpiece.
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THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE FILLER
Other songs that deserve mention include ‘Beautiful Blue’ and ‘The Year of Dreamwave’ both of which are contagious and hummingly brilliant. Tracks like ‘The Year of Dreamwave’ do not seem to be a great fit for the album’s space theme and sounds more like filler material than conceptually strong compositions. ‘The Legacy’ is also a notable song and one that delights with a calm yet commanding beat while staying on-theme — it a musical vehicle acting as a spacecraft landing at the Kennedy Space Center.
Atlantis is not without its flaws as the relatively short length of the album makes sub-par tracks more noticeable. At around thirty-eight minutes, the album is solid on the whole but a few songs are largely forgettable. Most notably, “Entering the Stratosphere” can be skipped entirely and written off as filler, while “On and On” is a three-minute song that runs for five minutes and will make listeners wonder if they have accidentally enabled repeat. The intro and outro are not overly exciting, but they do serve their purpose to frame the concept of space travel.
OUT OF 10
THE GOOD STUFF
- A variety of dreamy and alert synthwave compositions make for great background/work music.
- The space angle is a great fit for synthwave and Marvel 83’ largely succeeds in bringing listeners on a journey to the stars and back home.
- The likability of certain tracks are noticeably uneven which detracts from the overall listening experience.
Overall, Atlantis is an enjoyable album and one worth listening to for genre fans. The experimental angle of telling a story of space travel succeed through carefully synthesized instrumentation, with only a few words thrown in for good measure is not perfect but provides enough “story” for listeners to comprehend what Marvel 83’ set out to accomplish. While Marvel83’ may not have made a smash hit full-lengther with Atlantis, the album is impressive in its own right and does elevate his rank to “synthwave artists to watch.”
Released on June 11, Atlantis is available on Marvel 83’s Bandcamp space and the usual music services. We have selectively added to best tracks to our Spotify playlist ‘Outrun & Synthwave’.