Year 3, Day 25: M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

Year 3, Day 25: M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

Track List

  • Disc One
    1. Intro
    2. Midnight City
    3. Reunion
    4. Where the Boats Go
    5. Wait
    6. Raconte-moi une histoire
    7. Train to Pluton
    8. Claudia Lewis
    9. This Bright Flash
    10. When Will You Come Home?
    11. Soon, My Friend
  • Disc Two
    1. My Tears Are Becoming a Sea
    2. New Map
    3. OK Pal
    4. Another Wave for You
    5. Splendor
    6. Year One, One UFO
    7. Fountains
    8. Steve McQueen
    9. Echoes of Mine
    10. Klaus I Love You
    11. Outro

About the Album

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is the sixth studio album from French electronic rock band, M83. It is a double album that was released in mid-October of 2011 through Naïve Records in France and Mute Records in the United States of America. The album debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200 in the United States of America and has been M83‘s highest charting album to date. The album was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

Thoughts on the Album

First off, can I just state that I am not a big fan of double albums. Just take half the best tracks from one and half of the best from the other and combine them into one. However there are some exceptions to this: the Foo Fighters‘ In Your Honor, the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Stadium Arcadium, and of course, M83‘s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Maybe it’s the 1980’s revivalist tent that this album pitches. Maybe it’s the track Midnight City. Maybe it’s the overall production of the album. I don’t know, but let’s find out!

Let me tell you something, it’s like M83 discovered unreleased music from the 1980s and with the help of today’s technology, polished it up, and took it in new directions. What helps this album out is that M83 has been working and developing the sound into something that is lush and expansive. So this makes albums feel doubly as big. So imagine how a double album sounds with such an expansive and lush sound. But the thing is, if all 22 tracks were like the first track on this album, it would be an exhausting experience.

So with Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, you get an album that builds off of previous work. The double LP opens rather epically with the track, Intro. The track features Zola Jesus’ Nika Danilova, whose voice just adds to the ambient electronic synthpop. I should mention now, that while this album is mostly a synth affair, M83 does a hell of job fleshing out their sound by adding in strings, saxophone, acoustic guitar, and a slew of other instruments. Intro‘s ending leads right into the infectious and probably most famously, Midnight City. Combining huge synth drums, soaring synth voices, and Anthony Gonzalez’s vocals that just put the song over the top. The thing that seals the deal for Midnight City? That damn saxophone solo for the outro. It’s like the Spanish Inquisition… no one expects it!

While many would have conceit for this album being a double one, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming offers a spectrum that ranges in a wide variety of hues. Especially with the track Raconte-moi une Histoire, which is a light and airy song where a child imagines a world where everyone turns into magic frogs. This story is told over top of bouncy synth and guitar riffs. Reunion, is a real rocker. Adding in guitar mixed in with the band’s trademark synth sound. The first half of the double LP ends with Soon, My Friend, an epic symphonic track that makes you wonder where the second album will take you. The second half of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming sounds more like traditional M83 that people would recognize. There’s the triumphant, yet heart-broken, My Tears Are Becoming a Sea. Combine this with the rush of tracks like New Maps and Steve McQueen and you get a very well thought out, fleshed-out, and grandiose sound.

Conclusion

Unlike M83‘s previous release, where that one was more wall-to-wall epic tracks, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is more like the tide. It offers ebbs and flows. It ebbs and flows from one song to the next. One reason for this is that Gonzalez remembers to keep bringing the hooks, melodies, and harmonies. The difference between this album and another electronic, synthpop album? It’s not crass or loud. The tempo fluctuates. The composition of this album is absolutely brilliant. In a sea of bland, irritating, unmitigated auditory garbage, the 2011 release from M83 seemingly transcends genre to becoming a categorical classic. Seriously, any musical preference, you could find on this album.

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