Kavinsky
Outrun


2.5
average

Review

by AndyC USER (2 Reviews)
March 11th, 2013 | 9 replies


Release Date: 02/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ‘You know... That song from the film Drive?!’

I think you can forgive Kavinsky for using Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive as a source of inspiration for Outrun. Drive has given previously-little-known Frenchman Vincent Belorgey undoubted international recognition and an increased demand for his dark, edgy, French house-infused 80’s synthpop sound. I mean, you only have to watch the music video for Daft Punk-inspired lead single Protovision to see it play out almost identically to Drive’s intro. Outrun’s back story unsurprisingly follows a young man and his car, in this case a red Ferrari Testarossa. The concept of the album follows the story of this young man, who after a car crash, becomes spliced with said Ferrari and rises from the ashes as a zombie, born to make electronic music. Yeah...

But I can also appreciate just why Kavinsky felt the need for his first full-length album to become synonymous with Drive. Many people will pick this up exactly for the hope that this is ‘Drive: The Concept Album.’ Unfortunately, Kavinsky’s homage to the 80’s is less fitting than that of Winding Refn’s and it suffers as a result.

Musically, Kavinsky does manage to capture that vintage synthpop sound and combines this retro sound with the unrelenting, sonic onslaught of monolithic synths that is recognisable of his French compatriots at Ed Banger records (unsurprising with SebastiAn helping with album production too). Songs like Blizzard, Grand Canyon and Roadgame are just begging to be played on huge walls of Marshall Speakers * la Justice, but there is a distinct lack of variety and subtlety on offer that makes the album convoluted, at times tedious and uncommitted to the overall concept. 'And now you know how the legend of the dead cruiser was born' album finisher Endlesstold me. The reality was far different. The distinct lack of depth throughout had me questioning the track listing in particular.

The few occasions when there is a bit of variation are either done: Superbly - with the now legendary Nightcall (with over 30,000,000 Youtube views) restoring some sense into Outrun’s story line courtesy of Lovefoxx’s swooning and that Cinema-shaking thudding drum beat or: Awfully - with Mobb Deep’s Havoc making a real mess on Suburbia. The rapping sounds terribly out of place and is distracting rather than refreshing. When you are trying to mentally place yourself into the neon-lit skyline of a 1986 Miami Vice car chase, lyrics about Twitter and Facebook don’t half ruin your trail of thought.

There is an overall feeling that Outrun is the soundtrack to something, but it is not exactly clear or confident in its execution. The new-found fans of Kavinsky have craved for a full-length release, but it is too repetitive to warrant the release of Outrun as a single entity. This would have been much more manageable across a few EP without the album concept getting in the way to muddle proceedings. It is apt that Kavinsky decided to style his music through the use of a zombie; as Outrun is too cold-hearted and shallow to rival the albums of French house heavyweight predecessors like Daft Punk and Justice. Did it make me drive my red Volkswagen Polo like a Ferrari Testarossa? A little, yeah. But the fun soon got old.


user ratings (76)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Alex Beebe (3.5)
Retro haven....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2013


3559 Comments


Insert "vaguely appropriate username" comment here

Digging: Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint

AndyC
March 11th 2013


2 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

eh?

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2013


3559 Comments


Andy C is a famous DnB producer/dj who's become sort of poppy recently, and if I'm seeing this correctly Kavinsky is pretty poppy electronic as well

SalteyBacon
March 12th 2013


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I think everyone that has followed Kavinsky should be annoyed that Testarossa Autodrive is on this release, among with all of his other EPs.... Still a stellar album, reminded me of College's Secret Diary. Without SebastiAn's production I'm sure it would have been a huge disappointment. For a debut it is a starting place.

Digging: Chromeo - White Women

MO
April 24th 2013


19086 Comments


this is pretty damn good

alachlahol
April 24th 2013


7515 Comments


is this material any different from those eps he put out 4 years back? havent heard him since aside from nightcall which was sweet man real sweet

SalteyBacon
May 1st 2013


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Well if you have heard all his EPs you have already heard a third of the record... It's sad how he recycles his past work to make it seem like an LP. I think that's why I wasn't crazy about this when it came out. I'm sure he will do the same thing in future works, however he does change things up in this album- some guest vocals and a whole 'storyline' that isn't a storyline.

miasky26
July 2nd 2013


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this review is really unfair. Kavinsky didn't just make the song nightcall for drive. It was put out way before the movie and he's had similar records for years. He's a great artist, this cd is excellent, and has influenced many others to mimick the 80s synth sound.

Pho3nix
March 15th 2014


56 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Have to say Miami Nights 1984s' debut outruns this one 2-1. If you're looking for a cool 80s inspired soundtrack you should check it out.



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