Review: M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

Although linked with the shoegazing/dreampop movement, Anthony Gonzalez’s M83 project has become even more closely connected with 1980’s soundtrack excess. His last album, ‘Saturdays = Youth’, was arguably his most coherent with a better understanding of songwriting on display. ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ is the double album Gonzalez apparently always wanted to make after hearing Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Mellion Collie And The Infinite Sadness’ and it is inspired by dreams.

As he often does, Gonzalez begins well. ‘Midnight City’ is like an 80’s cop theme in overdrive. It’s brash (especially so on the sax solo) but also compelling for all the right reasons and then Gonzalez comes up with ‘Reunion’, one of his best songs to rival his best single ‘Run Into Flowers’. It begins like Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ and then turns into a hypnotic mesh of glistening guitars, passionate vocals and dreampop effects.

The trouble with M83 is that one great song does not make a great album and so it proves with much of the remainder here. Even attempts at subtlety (‘Wait’) seem hamfisted whereas the child’s narration on ‘Raconte-Moi Une Histoire’ is horribly saccharine. Like the first CD, the third track is the best with ‘OK Pal’ again proving that 1980’s excess isn’t always bad news but it’s a rare highlight.

Everything is OTT, the drumming, the stentorian keyboard washes, even the song titles (‘My Tears Are Becoming A Sea’ anyone?). So it’s another bloated outing for M83, only emphasised by the fact that it’s stretched over two (thankfully short) CDs.

Web Sites:
M83 Official Site

Further Listening:
The Bird Day, Maps, Dextro

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