It may have taken some time for the mysterious red Ferrari Testarossa to reappear. Catching a mass audience by surprise in the hit film Drive. Many walked away from the silver screen searching for a relatively unknown by the name of Kavinsky. A French, electro/pop artist who carries himself with the likes of Daft Punk, A-Trak, and Justice was responsible for the film’s opening track “Nightcall.” Thanks to the exposure brought upon from Hollywood and partly by the popularity of Ryan Goslin, did Kavinsky take the opportunity and dedicate the past year-and-a-half to deliver his debut album which dropped this past Tuesday. OutRun is like a soundtrack to any driver who continues to be nostalgic about the '80s. With “Prelude” setting up the album up with a filmic storyline, it gives life to a young anti-hero who meets his fiery fate when he comes across a red car that takes his life and possession of him. Think Knight Rider but without the cheese.
With heavy basslines and guitar rifts, “ProtoVision” is one of many favorites on the release. Making it hard to dismiss a track like this and quite frankly the sound of the '80s. The music video directed by Marcus Herring picks up after our young hero’s encounter. By now, all is lost and we are left to witness our hero on the run.
The album is dark, no question about it. In past interviews, Kavinsky states that he is drawn to sad and dark music. The man doesn’t believe in happy music, so don’t count on catching him touring the album around clubs anytime soon. His aim is to bring out the darker side of electronic music in his productions.
There are criticisms about “Suburbia” featuring Havok of Mobb Deep, which doesn’t quite fit the album. The electro feel is there, but the hip-hop blend breaks the pattern and becomes distracting. In defense of this, the lyrics are still dark by meaning and makes a good tune. But again, its placement is right in the middle of the release, which acts like an off and on switch for the album's flow. However, we quickly make a recover with “Testarossa Autodrive” and “Nightcall.” Following shortly after, “First Blood” can be described like an anthem for any retro film where the main cast is on their way to victory or escape. Its rock elements and supplemented vocals from the British singer Tyson give the song life and starts to bring full circle the narrative of our hero’s success. There is so much soul poured into this track, making it appropriate and suited for this release and its recall of the sounds of the past.
The album has it flaws but doesn’t fall short. Kavinsky sticks to his guns when it comes to his sound and doesn’t over compromise to make it feel right with the times. If you like electro, if you liked the '80s and if you like the French, this album does not disappoint.