Review Summary: Lose yourself in a dream
Throughout life people of all ages have come to find certain things that help to take their minds off of the stress and cruelty of everyday life. For some it’s picking up a good book and being able to get lost in the characters and pages of the story. But for most it is rather simple: music. The ability to put on some headphones, lean back and just let go is a life saver. However, this drifting away to dream land is something I, unfortunately, have never been able to experience. Not even with any of M83’s other stellar (pun intended) releases, or even releases of such bands as Eluvium or Lights Out Asia. I thought I would never be able to find that one album that would allow me to drift away, until now.
M83 is -
Anthony Gonzales - Vocals, Production and Instrumentation
Immediately after delving into this double album, you are instantly greeted by the “Intro” track. This is by no means a mere intro track seeing as it is the longest on the entire album and stands by itself as an excellent standalone track. With that said it is however a truly wonderful beginning to this magical journey, with its warm, inviting synths and vocals by both Anthony and the featured Zola Jesus. This track really leaves you wanting more, and boy does M83 deliver.
Ever since Nicolas Fromageau left the band, M83’s sound has changed. However this is not at all a bad thing. Throughout the next hour you are treated to some of M83’s best work. With songs such as Midnight City and New Map, you find yourself humming along to Anthony’s layered yet simple vocals and lyrics. The music has a tendency to embed and stay inside your head. Especially special parts such as the saxophone outro on Midnight City, which happens to be my favorite section of music from the entire album, and that delicious bass guitar that appears in bursts throughout Claudia Lewis.
Now don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t all about toe tappers and sing along songs. M83 gets his name from the distant Messier galaxy and you can definitely tell when he references this in his music. Songs such as Where the Boats Go and Splendor, help to slow the pace back down and allow you to enjoy the dreamy, warm soundscapes by bringing out the spacey, rich layered music that you have come to know and love from M83. The way he does this is by starting a pattern of having one or two more upbeat songs and then throwing in some more ambient songs in between to give you a chance to catch your breath.
Not a single song acts as filler at any point throughout as each finds its proper place, and it is impossible to pick favorites. Without one, the others wouldn’t seem as magnificent. However, I do have one beef with this album. The track Raconte-Moi Une Histoire, which translates into “tell me a story”, feels rather unnerving. A happy childlike song this may be, but I can’t help but feel disturbed while I listen to this child talk about frogs and how we should all be like frogs. As innocent an idea it is, I would rather not. With that being said it is still easy to brush this off and continue on and enjoy the music of the song, so it’s not all bad. Therefore it isn’t that big of a problem seeing as this is the only complaint I have for something from a man who obviously knows what he’s doing.
This may as well be album of the year for me. This may be for many reasons which include just the overall epic feel you get from listening to it. However, for me the main reason is clear. I have found the ONE thing that allows me to escape, to forget the world around me, and just enjoy life the moment that this masterpiece starts playing through my headphones. After all these years I have finally found my getaway, and that makes Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming a winner in my book.