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M83
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - MUTE
FILTER Grade: 92%

By Kyle Lemmon on October 17, 2011

 

M83

Anthony Gonzalez is a human synthesizer. Whether he’s crafting songs inspired by My Bloody Valentine (Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts), Vangelis, ’90s shoegaze (Before the Dawn Heals Us) or John Hughes movies (Saturdays=Youth), he does so with a sense of agency unparalleled amongst other indie musicians. Tracing his decade-plus career finds the Los Angeles-via-Antibes artist tackling a steady ascent to pop stardom. As such, his sixth LP, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, makes a lot of sense. Sure, it’s a 72-minute double LP peppered with ambient electronic interludes and dreamscape imagery, but fans surely knew this was coming. Gonzalez writes songs with the caps lock key firmly pressed down. Saturdays=Youth firmed up this realization and Hurry Up sets it in colossal detail. The ominous, buzzing album opener “Intro” begins with hushed spoken words from Saturdays=Youth vocalist Morgan Kibby: “We didn’t need a story, we didn’t need a real world. We just had to keep walking and we became the stories. We became the places.”

What follows is an album split by gender, specifically that of siblings. The cover art showcases this theme with a photograph of a little boy and girl sitting on a bed. The two sides of Hurry Up intertwine both musically and thematically. The bright and powerful synths of debut single “Midnight City” and the Peter Gabriel-referencing “OK Pal,” are some of the best you’ll hear on any release from recent memory. Both tracks tear through your heart like tissue paper and the rest of the release follows suit.

Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, NIN, The Mars Volta) produced Hurry Up to resemble the high-flying releases Smashing Pumpkins made in the ’90s—specifically Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness—and Gonzalez’s influence is more in spirit than actual tone. For such a long release, the pacing is almost perfect. Intense tumults such as “This Bright Flash” and “Year One, One UFO” are tempered by palette-cleansing and regal synthscapes “Klaus I Love You,” “Wait” and “Soon, My Friend.” The interstitials scattered throughout can wash out the sparkling gems here and there, but Gonzalez has crafted an admirable paean to fuzzy memories, nostalgia, melancholic rumination and pop experimentation, imploring the listener to become the stories and places that populate dreams.

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