By: Myles Herod
October 30, 2011
Expectations were high for Anthony Gonzalez. With the release of 2008’s Saturday’s = Youth, an album of ethereal anthems and a hint of John Hughes, one wondered if M83 and its Parisian posse could attain similar heights of their blissful precursor.
On Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming the band seems to cull from the same bag of electronic sweetener, constructing a double album that extends its collect call to the 1980s. A little Molly Ringwald here, some New Order-sized rhythms there, and a whole lot of shimmering solos and synths for good measure – it’s imposing, messy, and mildly intoxicating.
What M83 brings to the table with their newest effort is a thick monolith of sound that is as lush as it is epic. But is it ultimately memorable?
Though the album feels repetitive when listened to from start to finish, Gonzalez’s intention is nevertheless clear: to create an opus that functions cohesively as one dizzying crescendo. What separates this effort apart from M83’s back catalogue, specifically their last entry, is the somber air that looms over its long odyssey. It’s one that finds Gonzalez and crew breaking into depths of melancholy long buried beneath their glow of neon colours and leg warmers.
Tracks like the plainly titled “Outro” and the playful, folk-tinged “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” serve as refreshing additions to the pallet of M83’s pastels. Yet, it is “Midnight City,” their lead off single, that truly stands out as the album’s searing statement, helping secure Gonzalez’s as the bastion of modern shoegaze.
Now it’s only a matter of time before everyone else catches on.