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Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

  • M83
  • Alternative & IndieDance & Electronica...
  • Out now
  • Mute US, Naïve
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Will Roth
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M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

If you’ve
ever wondered what it might sound like if TV
on the Radio
and The Edge from U2
asked
Panda Bear to produce a
collaboration album, you may have your answer. 

With Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, M83 brings us
their sixth studio album, perhaps their most ambitious yet.Combining surreal dreamscapes of synthesizers
and reverb with driving drumbeats and choir-like vocals, front man Anthony
Gonzalez has created a double-album that pays respect to previous influences
using unmistakably contemporary sounds. 

On prior
records, especially 2007’s Digital
Shades, Vol. 1
, M83 leaned almost entirely on ambient electronic sounds,
and Gonzalez earned his reputation by emulating musical heroes like Brian
Eno. On Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, Gonzalez and company show they are not
afraid to flex other musical muscles, a bold decision that has resulted in one
of 2011’s best releases.

The 22-track
album spans across multiple genres and periods of music. Tracks like ‘Reunion’ sound like the 80s-style
rock music you might mistake for something off of The Joshua Tree. On the
other hand, more experimental tracks like ‘Raconete-Moi Une Histoire,’ ‘My
Tears Are Becoming a Sea,’ and ‘Year One, One UFO’ are mesmerising ballads full
of echoing string arrangements and crashing symbols. In between those two stylistic bookends, M83
shows that it can rock out with songs like ‘OK Pal’ and the first single off
the album, ‘Midnight City.’

In other
words, there is something for everyone, and a lot for anyone to like about Hurry Up We’re Dreaming. Even the ‘Intro,’ featuring Zola Jesus kicks
the album with a crescendo of powerful synthesiser chords and choir harmonies. 

M83 is at
its best when it looks both forwards and backwards for inspiration. At times, particularly on tracks like ‘Claudia
Lewis,’ the grooves and melodies don’t sound entirely innovative, and it’s not
hard to imagine them fitting well alongside the credits for cheesy 80’s
comedies like Earth Girls Are Easy. Still, if this is the worst thing you can say
about a record, so be it. 

For a
double-album, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
has surprisingly few dull spots. Just
when you think you are getting tired of the more accessible tracks like
‘Midnight City,’ you can fall head first for your choice of awesome dreamscapes
that Gonzalez has sculpted. Equally
useful for long car rides and before-bed listening sessions, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming is a necessary addition to any serious music
lover’s collection this autumn.

Like This? Try

Zola Jesus, Neon Indian, Brian Eno

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