I’ve been a big fan of M83 ever since I first heard “Teen Angst” in a trailer for the film A Scanner Darkly. While I didn’t enjoy that film as much, I really grew to love M83’s music, from the keyboard/synth-heavy Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts, to the more alt-friendly Before the Dawn Heals Us, to even the 80s-tinged homage of Saturdays=Youth. Now, following his last great release, Anthony Gonzalez says he wrote Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming as a double album, due to his obsession with albums like The Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. While I can’t say that Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming necessarily matches the feel and length of that album, I can say that what Gonzalez has crafted is really something special. He aimed to make this double-album a sort of soundtrack representation of himself, according to an interview on Urban Outfitters, and as a result, there are some great sounds here for fans and newbies alike to enjoy.
I was enthralled to hear “Midnight City” for the first time this past summer, and the rest of the album does not disappoint in the least. The first track on the album, featuring Zola Jesus, is an incredibly epic combination of everything we’ve come to know and love from M83. The song is complete with an odd yet absorbing spoken word segment (“We were you before you even existed”), that sets us up nicely for Anthony Gonzalez’s powerful and full vocal entrance. Plus, the addition of Zola Jesus makes a nice complement to this track, making it one of the best the album has to offer. The rest of the album is a bit of a nostalgic melange, ranging from prog-rock anthems (“Reunion”), to post-rock smashes (both “This Bright Flash” and “Year One, One UFO” are almost entirely instrumental, but they are some of the most captivating tracks here, grabbing you as much as Mogwai’s “George Square Thatcher Death Party”). The tracks”Wait” and “Soon, My Friend” remind me a lot of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which makes me think that Anthony Gonzalez is truly paying homage to that album on these songs. Plenty of tracks serve as transitional soundtrack filler, and I feel like the album could have benefited without some of these short ideas (particularly “Klaus I Love You”). I appreciate the ongoing themes of youth, innocence and dreams that are here, but some of it gets a little out of hand (“Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” in particular is a little laughable, yet the idea here is pretty impressive). Nevertheless, what is here is still an impressive collection of music, stretching through the spectrum of electronic and alternative music. If, like me, you enjoy a little anthemic rock to complement your mundane work week, then definitely check this out.
Key tracks: CD1 – “Intro (feat. Zola Jesus)”, “Midnight City”, “Reunion”, “Wait”, “Claudia Lewis”, “This Bright Flash”, “Soon, My Friend”
CD2 – “My Tears are Becoming a Sea”, “New Map”, “OK Pal”, “Splendor”, “Year One, One UFO”, “Steve McQueen”, “Echoes of Mine”