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M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

IT’S been almost three years since the release of M83’s critically-acclaimed Saturdays = Youth but while fans have been pining for his return, Anthony Gonzalez has been looking for ways to top it.

He’s done just that with Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, an epic, two CD release produced by Justin Meldal-Johnson (Beck, The Mars Volta, Goldfrapp) that includes contributions from Zola Jesus, Brad Laner (from 90’s band Medicine) on guitar, and Saturdays = Youth vocalist Morgan Kibby.

What ensues is a head-spinning journey and one that effortlessly combines moments of cinematic ambience on a par with Jean Michel Jarre or Vangelis with the ethereal vocals of Sigur Ros (think Hoppipolla) and the stadium-filling exuberance of the most empowering synth pop.

You know it’s going to be special from the opening moments of Intro, which combine all of those elements in one five minute track. It’s epic, it’s beautiful, it’s inspired and yet it’s essentially the work of only one man!

Former single Midnight City follows, with its synth pulse and euphoric beats… it’s a moment of pure pop joy that lights up the sky and your imagination, while making you want to celebrate its positivity on the dance-floor.

Reunion flirts with a vaguely ‘80s sensibility, but successfully so (think Simple Minds), the restrained, intimate Wait showcases a sensibility comparable to Peter Gabriel and Sigur Ros combined, and Raconte-Moi Une Histoire has a playful finger-clicking backdrop, a Lemon Jelly like synth arrangement and the inclusion of an innocent child’s voice to guide you through its fertile imagination.

Claudia Lewis, meanwhile, drops some kitsch but catchy beats and sounds like a hipper version of an ‘80s dance classic you’ve never heard and Soon, My Friend weaves some ethereal vocals around intricate guitar licks and an ambient sound that’s jaw-droppingly beautiful. And that’s only CD1.

CD2 begins with the subtle, melancholy My Tears Are Becoming A Sea (great name!) before busting to vibrant, pulsating life with the rat-a-tat drums and euphoric synths of New Map. It’s another great juxtaposition of moments.

Needless to say, the momentum is maintained throughout. Gonzalez seems to instinctively know when to change the pace… sliding in subtle but lovely instrumental interludes that suggest fantastic snow-capped landscapes, or mystical places of the mind, or even futuristic, Ridley Scott directed landscapes (Another Wave From You is pure Blade Runner).

And the mood is near-perfect… veering between the inspirational and smile-inducing to the reflective and sometimes even sad (witness the opening moments of Splendour).

It’s fair to say that fans are in for a treat when his live shows arrive in the UK this December and early next year (2012), for this will be a mind-blowing experience for anyone who has a ticket. Trust us, once this album gains momentum and the universal critical acclaim it undoubtedly deserves, M83 will be hugely in-demand.

This is something approaching a masterpiece.

Download picks: Intro, Midnight City, Raconte-Moi Une Histoire, Soon, My Friend, New Map, Another Wave From You, Splendour, Year One, One UFO, Echoes of Mine, Outro

Track listing:
CD1

  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

CD2

  1. My Tears Are Becoming A Sea
  2. New Map
  3. OK Pal
  4. Another Wave From You
  5. Splendor
  6. Year One, One UFO
  7. Fountains
  8. Steve McQueen
  9. Echoes of Mine
  10. Klaus I Love You
  11. Outro