M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

6 Nov

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming turned out to be one of the more pleasant surprises of 2011.  Anthony Gonzales remarked some months before the release that it was going to be epic.  He wasn’t too far off.  It’s a neon glitter bomb.

It has all of what made M83’s prior albums great, and despite being a double album, the listener comes away feeling as though some of the fat has been trimmed.  Few songs exceed five minutes and those that do are very listenable unlike some of the sparse, sprawling bon voyages on his earlier albums (and that’s not a stab at Gonzales’ being French).  Tracking may be Gonzales’ biggest improvement on the new album.  I don’t feel bombarded like I did by the back-to-back monsters on Saturdays=Youth.  The songs seem to swim comfortably into one another and the instrumentals act as emotional drivers in the album versus the styrofoam peanut feel of his earlier instrumental work.

The first disc has the bulk of Gonzales’ exploratory tracks.  The second disc sounds more like an intelligent sequel to Saturdays=Youth. And the overall ratio of great tracks to meh tracks is about 3:1.  Gonzales also offers a new vocal range on this album.  Not that I didn’t love the soft, shoegazing vocals prior to Hurry Up, but it’s nice to have a variety and to be able to sing along if you so choose (I had to make up lyrics to sing along to for “Kim & Jessie”).

The album is hopelessly indebted to the 80’s.  There’s some reminder at every turn: the saxophones at the end of “Midnight City,” the Tears for Fears-y intro to “Reunion, the hollering, Peter Gabriel’-ed out chorus of “OK Pal,” the Talk Talk-ish synth and slap bass on “Claudia Lewis.” As always, Gonzales is teetering on the fine line between imitation and emulation; and as always, he spruces his stuff up just enough to seem fresh and contemporary.  Sort of like Madonna’s “Like A Virgin,” Gonzales is good enough at his craft to have me feel like I’m hearing synth pop for the very first time.

Highly recommended.

Rating: ****1/2

Noteworthy Tracks: “Intro,” “Midnight City,” “Wait,” “Claudia Lewis,” “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea,” “New Map,” “OK Pal,” and “Steve McQueen”

Tracks that I absolutely hated at first, came to cutesy peace with and now am sort of indifferent to: “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire”  It’s like you gave a kid acid, a box of crayons and a frogs coloring book.

Watch a bunch of creepy X-Men children escape their dormitory and F up a warehouse in the “Midnight City” music video!

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4 Responses to “M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”

  1. Funk November 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    Wow I’ll definitely have to check this out! M83 is that great band when you’ve got an itch for the 80’s but don’t want to listen to anything from the 80’s.

  2. JIMBO December 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Saw this after googling “claudia lewis” “talk talk.” Glad to know I’m not the only one who had that thought when listening to this song!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Self-Hating Hipster’s Top 11 Albums of 2011 « the self-hating hipster - January 2, 2012

    […] I reviewed this one last month and I encourage you to check out the full review: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming […]

  2. Top 51 Tracks of 2011 « the self-hating hipster - January 22, 2012

    […] revisited this song after weeks of not listening to it.  I played it so much when I wrote my review of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming that I felt it necessary to avoid the track afterwards so as not […]

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