"Cinematic" is a word increasingly used to describe music that seems bigger than a conception of music alone can stand for it's somehow visual, coming across in multiplex widescreen, expanding beyond "mere music" to become sound and vision. And so where M83's debut album was a beautiful, lushly pastoral electronic record, subtly and evocatively textured (a kind of laptop-gazing masterpiece), Before the Dawn Heals Us is defiantly "cinematic" and brash; it's stadium-sized and overwhelming.
Often, it's all too much too many synths, too many drums, too much reverb; it's as if every subtlety of that first record was magnified in the production process, its once lithe and supple frame vulgarly pumped with steroids.
There are still those brilliant moments here "Teen Angst" is one of the best songs released this year: its propulsive, arpeggio keyboards and understated vocals are backed by soaring synth lines and (relatively) subtle drum programming, the whole drifting in a beautifully dreamy melancholy. But where that song soars because of its lightness, too much of the remainder is overburdened with grandiosity to truly take flight.