Saturday, October 29, 2011

ALBUM REVIEW: M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

I was first introduced to M83 by a friend. We were in his car, headed for the ocean on a grey winter afternoon; our boards crammed in the back seat. My current knowledge of the band is still essentially comprised of what little he told me that day: “It’s just one guy from France. He makes electronic music. He‘s amazing,” he said. I was relatively unimpressed by what I heard. It would take more than just one listen for me to realize the merit of the music of Anthony Gonzalez, the man behind M83. In fact, I didn’t take the time to listen to M83 again until I heard murmurings of a new album coming out this year. I figured it was about time I found out what all the fuss was about.
                That being said, I approached Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming with some slightly negative preconceptions. Having heard a few older tracks which had been played for me by friends, I figured I knew what to expect of this slightly daunting double album. I soon found out that I was very wrong.
                Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is not just a collection of songs, it’s a grab-bag of musical windows, each one providing the listener with a view into a different clouded dream world. And just as dreams are subject to instant and absolute change, so it is with Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. It’s hard to assign a genre to M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming; each track on the album feels unique and even surprising at times. In one of the album’s most dramatic juxtapositions of styles, the acoustic strumming and melancholy synth of ‘Wait’, the albums 5th track, takes a complete left turn into the playful ‘Raconte-Moi Une Histoire,’ with its silly talk of frogs and friendship, all the while, never loosing the attention to musical detail that makes the album shine as a whole. 
                Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is reminiscent in a way of The Beatles White Album, in that it manages to make such a largely diverse group of songs feel so beautifully entwined as one, while still allowing each song to shine on its own. Whether it’s the 80’s style synth-pop of ‘Steve McQueen,’ the Floyd-esque combination of synthesizer and guitar on ’Splendor,’ or the epic explosions of ’Echoes of Mine,’ every song on the album functions perfectly as a standalone piece, as well as fitting into its designated place as a part of the album as a whole.  
                Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a beautiful album. Although the genre skips about through several different styles over the length of the album, which, in a few spots, feels slightly unnatural, the slick production and stellar instrumentation are a constant in every track; it’s clear that the album would have no problem garnishing the praise that it deserves based on the stunning musical depth alone. However, the true genius of M83’ 6th album lies in the fact that there is more to the picture. The lyrical concepts and powerful emotions are what make the album truly shine. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming demands more of you than the run-of-the-mill indie pop release, but it is waiting to open up to those who give it that time.

Score: Strong 9
-Nicholas Raffel

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