Review Summary: Can summer come any sooner than this?
I'll be honest, I didn't think the day would come when French producer Madeon would release an album. One of the youngest producers in EDM (just knocked at 19), his 2012 single "The City" was the catalyst that propelled him to being one of EDM's bubbling artists - one who could break out and be like a David Guetta or the numerous producers in the genre who've broken out. After his breakout single, Madeon wasn't doing much despite a couple singles in the last few years and touring across the globe. Those singles did pretty good themselves, setting off the question - when will he release an album" Little did we know that Madeon was working on his debut studio album in these last couple years while in his touring endeavors and otherwise, and now that day has finally come.
The French producer's debut, titled Adventure, is an album that fits the title with unquestionable certainty - it is indeed an adventure worth partaking. You definitely don't see most of the time a debut album from an EDM artist where its solid, despite the fact that they've been around for sometime (with Madeon being around since 2010) and are well into their 'domination' of the genre. Guys like Skrillex and Avicii (the most obvious of them all) have had their debuts taken to task, receiving poor recognition by fans alike. Getting the obvious out of the way, this isn't the case at all here. In fact, it is the complete polar opposite.
Madeon delivers a debut album bombarded with the warm and inviting sounds of summer, and he does a damn good job at it. Songs like the groovy "Pay No Mind" reinforce that, with its plethora of glossy synths and funky guitar in the backdrop. It definitely gives it that feeling of warmth and also anticipation for the upcoming summer, with its early spring release setting it up for the warmer season ahead. Daft Punk fans may cry foul for its similarity to "Lose Yourself To Dance", which is justified but its more mechanical than the latter. Other tracks, like the electric house track "Icarus", send the album flying at unparalleled speeds with its more up-tempo premise and the significant reduction of acoustic instruments, leaving it all up to the use of glowing synthesizer and the roars of deep bass occuring very evidently in the record.
Only a select few were invited vocally to join in on the road trip in Adventure, and Madeon succeeds here with his choices. Guys like Passion Pit, who appears solely in this specific track, give the sun-bathed sound on this record the boost of resonance and fun that the music is trying to convey. Others like indie artist Vancouver Sleep Clinic and Bastille's Dan Smith follow it up with otherwise pleasing vocal performances in their respective songs. Even Charli XCX lends a hand in "OK", despite her vocals being uncredited in the track. The best vocal performance seen in Adventure has to be on the dreamy yet bustling "The City", with Zak Waters delivering a stellar performance and conveying the invitation of the urban metropolis in which the track wants you to join in.
In terms of where Madeon's debut sees some needed improvements, it has to be the lyrics. Fortunately, the bulk of the record where it sees vocalists take the stage - the lyrics are actually pretty decent. In some spots however, like in the Passion Pit-featured "Pay No Mind" - some of the lyrics can come off as silly and corny, and can be a bit annoying as a result. It isn't new to see this issue in place, with the majority of EDM artists delivering similar, if not worse lyrical matter. The good thing to note here is that it isn't prominent in the debut, and that's a great thing considering that hardly is the case with other artists in the genre. Also some of the songs featured here have been released before, giving that feeling of being there as 'album filler' but fortunately they're a bonus on the deluxe. Other than that, not much can be said about this album in terms of criticism.
What Madeon delivers in his debut Adventure is one that leaves it all on the table. It is certainly a much better EDM debut for an album than we've seen in the past, shooting one enjoyable hit after another. All of these songs have the potential of breaking into the EDM stratosphere and becoming a hit, a trend in which has been common for the young French producer. It all sets up for another fantastic summer in music, one where the sweaters and sweatpants are traded for shorts and tank tops - to be once again immersed in the always-exciting atmosphere of summer concerts and festivals. This is certainly an album that needs to be in your upcoming summer playlist. Can the sun come out already"