Review // M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

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Review // M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

As much as I’d want Morgan Freeman to narrate my life, I’d rather M83′s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute; 2011) be its soundtrack. It’s a double-album of climaxes and melancholic planetary rest stops. An ode to a bygone, pre-millennial era of double-CD record store events, a la the monolith that was Billy Corgan’s opus, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995; Virgin Records).
As much as I’d want Morgan Freeman to narrate my life, I’d rather M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute; 2011) be its soundtrack. It’s a double-album of climaxes and melancholic planetary rest stops. An ode to a bygone, premillennial era of double-CD record store events, a la the monolith that was Billy Corgan’s opus, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995; Virgin Records).

Hurry Up‘s experience, however, is commensurate with the band’s titular roots: Messier 83, the spiraling galaxy that the band’s name is based on. And what an intergalactic ride it is. While some of French frontman Anthony Gonzales’ love of 80s midnight movie shtick is absent here (which I’d argue was about time), what replaces it is some of his best (if not best-maturated) work since 2003’s Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. All while reawakening the metro-luminescent Bladerunner appeal of 2005’s Before the Dawn Heals Us.

The most striking sign of evolution you’ll hear between 2008’s M83 and 2011’s M83 is Gonzales’ voice. It’s almost unrecognizable now. It’s taken center stage, and it has power, scale, heft, and soaring range. Prior to Hurry Up, Gonzales commissioned the help of outside vocalists; now, any artist would be lucky to recruit him. He’s taken hold of my new favorite singing voice, one that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses.

There is new swagger to Gonzales’ pop songcraft that derails his outfit’s 80s-throwback predecessors. Here, the Frenchman digs deeper into that decade’s mythic histrionics. That is, the ebullience that gave those 80s synth ballads their initial appeal — however we may cringe at them now. M83’s previous album, Saturdays = Youth (2008), was less about the 80s version of space travel. It paid homage to their sunny, pastels-colored nostalgia for John Hughes’ films, which they largely accomplished via Gonzales’ defiantly hushed vocals, 80s production hijinks and retro software kits. Hurry Up’s instrument repertoire, on the other hand, has expanded considerably to court timeless analog tools. In the resplendent Reunion (track 3) and the gorgeous Wait (track 5), for instance, the 80s synths and software beats take a backseat to electric-cum-acoustic guitars, analog drums and Gonzales’ reincarnated vocals. Where the Boats Go (track 4) is the perfect prototype for any filmmaker’s funeral scene. It’s the segue way between track 3 and 5, giving us time to absorb the preceding high-octane trio, leading us into Wait‘s slow, pretty fog.

Perhaps one of the album’s missteps, however, is its salient reliance on sustained crescendos. This is nothing new, of course, to M83 listeners. In fact, it’s one of this reviewer’s oft-cited reasons to queue them up on his iPhone (transforming an otherwise-lame car ride to work into a light speed voyage through incalculable stretches of dark matter (how fun).

Just three words: Run Into Flowers.

Listen to it and weep, with your arms stretched up towards the sky. (For some reason I’m thinking of Willem Dafoe’s iconic Platoon death scene). Yet, Gonzales tends to drop us over the stratospheric plateau of choruses and bridges without coaching our aesthetic lungs for thin altitudes. Perhaps a little more verse-time would have done the trick. That, and toning down his penchant for cheese-whizzed song titles (i.e., My Tears Are Becoming a Sea).

Music begets emotion. Better yet, music is emotion; and to experience it as a 74-minute high can be exhausting, no matter how peptidic it is. Too much of a “good thing” can be bad, too, in some respects. Still, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a beautiful, phantasmagoric mess, and I’m a sucker for beautiful messes that leave me uplifted and destroyed, all at the same time. Not one of this two-sided album’s 74 minutes is wasted, and it unexpectedly goes down easier than most of their single-sided LPs.

After you get over the mega-pop single appeal of Midnight City, of course, be sure to excavate this album’s gems. There are many.

4.5

 

 

Written by: Richard Sanchez
M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Date published: 11/23/2011
4.5 / 5 stars
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58 comments on “Review // M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

  1. Haha! If I could get Morgan Freeman to narrate my Inside Voice (you know, the one inside my head), I’d totally do it. But this does sound like a cool soundtrack you’ve reviewed here!

    :)

    Like

  2. Ever since Shawshank, I tried to emulate his soothing narration voice, but to no avail. This soundtracky album is the next best thing!

    Like

  3. rommel says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing this album dominate in end-of-the-year best album lists.

    Like

  4. I used to think that having Morgan Freeman narrate anything about my life would be the absolute best thing in the world…until I found out that he married his step-granddaughter. That’s just weird.

    So, I think I’d rather have the album do it… ;) Awesome post!!

    Like

    • dinkerson says:

      Morgan Freeman didn’t marry his stepdaughter. That was a rumor that was started by Enquirer magazine. The rumor was that he was going to marry her, not that he did marry her. Morgan freeman has dismissed there allegations as absurd. One should be mindful of where one gets one’s information. Gossip magazines as well as gossiping people are seldom a dependable source.

      Like

  5. Wow, you learn something new everyday :). Thanks for reading!

    Like

  6. The Hook says:

    “As much as I’d want Morgan Freeman to narrate my life..”
    Great line! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    Like

  7. ndsimons says:

    nice review, I like the shout out the infinite sadness

    Like

  8. One of the best opening lines to any album review I’ve ever read. Job well done!

    Like

  9. Karl Drobnic says:

    Morgan Freeman would be great, but how about James Earl Jones to narrate it?

    Like

  10. Oh,No; Willam DeFoe dies in Platoon? Now I don’t want to see it.

    Ronnie

    Like

  11. great album. great review.

    Like

  12. PhoeniX PhiL says:

    Great review! I’m currently a bit in love with this album (especially the promo video for Midnight City… which makes my heart ache for reasons far too buried in my pysche for me to understand why).

    Like

  13. andersonjay says:

    love the artwork, great review!

    Like

  14. DyingNote says:

    Well-written review. That’s two reviews on WordPress of the M83 album that have caught my attention. Enough to get me to listen to some samples from it. Sounds good, will get this. Thanks

    Like

  15. omg, thank you for writing this review. I am adoring this album more and more every day. Steve McQueen is one of my favorite tracks. It’s just magical. Great post!

    Like

  16. sheiktrends says:

    Morgan Freeman all the way!

    http://www.SheikTrends.com Worlds Largest Adult Products Store!

    Like

  17. johnnymouse says:

    Very nice! Thank you!

    Like

  18. great review! I thing i will need to buy this, Alot of grat albums have come out recently. Heres a link to Childish Gambino’s album if you are interested!

    http://eartharoundus.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/album-review-camp-by-childish-gambinocn/

    Like

  19. How to DJ says:

    Awesome review
    Think I might just pick this up now ;)
    I can’t believe the difference in his voice now.
    Cheers,
    Ron

    Like

  20. Thanks for reading, fellow bloggers. It’s all about the greatness of this album. This review being freshly pressed was quite unexpected. (@superblogger4, will definitely check out Childish Gambino). I’d also like to thank Morgan Freeman’s voice, albeit it does stand shoulder-to-shoulder with James Earl Jones’.

    Like

  21. Nice review. That’s cool ;)

    Like

  22. OMG says:

    Great review!

    Like

  23. Opinyonista says:

    Morgan Freeman should narrate your life’s story. The actor’s winner capacities will do you right.

    Like

  24. k5dgn says:

    Your are a great music writer! You were able to sum up my feelings for this great album as if you were reading my mind. This has become a daily listen for me as well anything Brainfeeder! Great job I wish to read more in the future.

    Like

  25. What a wonderful discovery! Thank you! LOVE your blog by the way!!

    Like

  26. fisix says:

    Movies are amusing!

    Like

  27. d1esel6 says:

    Saturdays = Youth is so amazing to me. I got their other albums and was kind of bored… so thanks for the review. if this is more similar to their other stuff than you saved me some $$ and time =P

    Like

  28. mediaudio says:

    Thanks for the great review and recommendations! I hope to see posts like this freshly pressed more often.

    Like

  29. I found this band from the Made In Chelsea soundtrack where there song ‘Midnight City’ is featured, but just that song doesn’t do this band justice! This review and there album are both brilliant :)

    Like

  30. topshoppingmallblog says:

    Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness to your post is just excellent and i can assume you are knowledgeable in this subject. Well together with your permission let me to grasp your RSS feed to stay up to date with drawing close post. Thanks one million and please continue the rewarding work.

    Like

  31. Amir Monfared says:

    nice

    Like

  32. d. durand says:

    I love your review, but the M83 album is such an instant classic of beautiful noise and an easy sell. Keep up the great work here you guys are on top of your collective game. Peace.

    Like

  33. newsy1 says:

    So glad I found this, very entertaining and well written review. Makes me want to listen.

    Like

  34. I’d love to Morgan Freeman to narrate my life. Just imagine it. Morgan Freeman narrating me going to the bathroom. Rofl. I recently fell in love with M83. I’m kind’ve ashamed that I heard of them through the victoria secret’s commercial (fail).

    Like

  35. Kammie says:

    I love M83. So much. <3

    Like

  36. sunclarabest says:

    great review

    Like

  37. Cant wait

    http://www.sheiktrends.com the worlds largest sex toy adult products store!

    Like

  38. We’re trippin’. We’re rolling in the flowers. We’re motivated. We’re hurrying up!!
    (Brilliant piece. We can’t wait.)
    http://stainfreemedia.wordpress.com

    Like

  39. starlitskye says:

    cool, can’t wait to check it out, had no idea they released a new album, thanks:)

    Like

  40. tofait says:

    sounds good ………. i liked it more than just a like .
    sometimes there are something very usual of everyday life reveals in diffrent “point de vue”.

    Like

  41. Gonna check it out, thanks.

    Like

  42. aaremo says:

    Great review. This is my album of the year. It took repeated listens, but what an incredible journey it is! It’s truly magical.

    Like

  43. plutonym says:

    definitely in my top 5 albums of this year.

    Like

  44. My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog. He was entirely right. This put up actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

    Like

  45. Thanks for reading, Altersvorsorge :) … always thrilled that a post can provide some useful intel!

    Like

  46. […] & Manu’s visual interpretation of M83′s “Reunion,” from their album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Produced by […]

    Like

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    Caerloyw Gloucester today, still known as Caerloyw in modern Welsh was one centre and Cirencester may have continued as a tribal centre as well.
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  48. I have many karaoke songs and i want to post it in youtube but it failes because it was in midi files. What step should i do so i can post it in youtube? Thanks a lot..

    Like

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