M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83, Hurry Up We're DreamingM83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
As a blogger, people assume that I am pretty hip. Occasionally, its true but for me, most of the time it is not. I am not horribly ashamed of this fact. So I can say, head held high, that Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is the first M83 album I have listened to all the way through. I know previous efforts by the French musician, like Saturdays = Youth have scored big points with critics but they always seemed to just miss my radar except for a few token tracks.
After one listen through of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, all I could think was “wow.” The album is a two disc spanning epic that seems to updated 80s new wave and 90s shoegaze to modern dream wave standards. But my real question in relistening to the album was “is it good?”
I ask that because it is obviously ambitious and often ambition leads to certain follies. Listeners of the record see the follies in tracks like “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” which Pitchfork properly terms “the one about a magic frog” or its seemingly endless musical interludes. While Pitchfork tries to glaze over these as part of the record’s charm, I think they are a bit excessive. But if you look at the core group of songs on the record, they add up to a pretty good 15 or 16 song record.
The pack is obviously lead by “single of the year” front-runner “Midnight City.” The track embodies everything that is good about the record: a magical distorted synth riff is accompanied by 80s power ballad drums which all serve as a backdrop for Anthony Gonzalez’s timid vocals. While no other synth part on the album manages to be as catchy or memorable as “Midnight City,” there are plenty of songs that equal it in memorability.
The very next song on the record, “Reunion” seems to up the ante. The track starts with a U2-esque reverbed guitar line and much stronger, assertive vocals from Gonzalez. The track crescendos with disco drums added in and a chorus simply constructed of ohs. The result is a surprisingly pop and accessible song from a band that has generally been known as being a little avant garde and obtuse.
That is not to say that there are not some obtuse selections on the album but for the most part, this feels like a band that is mainstream ready. All the hallmarks of good pop songwriting are present yet its still artistic enough to garner serious critical acclaim. M83 may have a serious “album of the year” contender to accompany their serious “single of the year” consideration.
Rating: 8.3/10
MP3: M83 “Reunion”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!

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