M83
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming


4.5
superb

Review

by Alex Robertson STAFF
October 25th, 2011 | 18 replies | 9,385 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is M83’s two-disc, seventy-five minute declaration: the age of irony is over!

Well, maybe things aren’t as simple as that, but HU,WD still feels like a Big Statement of intent in a musical era that desperately needs it. With the advent of Animal Collective, chillwave, witch house, grunge nostalgia, tribute albums, and all the weird musical and contextual minutiae that has been gradually swelling up in the Internet age, there’s been a perturbing sense that we’re all headed in the wrong direction. Creativity seems to be eroding, replaced with nostalgia for musical eras and trends past. Writing for Slate, Simon Reynolds nails our modern musical ethos as one indicative of “a pop culture increasingly characterized by a compulsion to revisit and reconsume its own past.” So when Ernest Greene (a/k/a Washed Out) releases an EP or album full of synth jams hyper-reminiscent of ‘80s italo disco, it’s not so much offensive--2009’s Life of Leisure is actually quite excellent--as it is demonstrative of a sort of cultural stasis. To put it simply, how can we make music history if we’re constantly obsessed with replicating past successes?

This is all heavy stuff, and I’ll be the first to admit that HU,WD--an album heavily indebted to the synth pop of the ‘80s--doesn’t really answer this pressing inquiry into artistic values directly as much as it sort of disposes of it. It cuts through the whole discussion simply by virtue of being way too good. This is conversation-interrupting music; even the most obstinate of Internet forum-posters would willingly cease-fire a rant on the lack of values in modern music just to hear the part in “Intro” where Zola Jesus just totally nails her vocal part. I realize that this doesn’t quite address some of the potential criticisms a double-album ‘80s homage will invite, so I’ll extend my praise even further: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is the first album in a long, long time to
sound both entrenched in the sounds of another era and yet completely fresh and exciting. Whether Anthony Gonzalez (frontman of and creative genius behind M83) is singing his warped version of a guitar ballad (“Wait”) or constructing impressionist landscapes of cascading synths (“Another Wave From You”) or shooting for the stars with the biggest, best chorus you’ve ever heard (like, 90% of the tracks here), it sounds like the magnificent result of a labor of love.

Even great “nostalgic” albums (Washed Out’s aforementioned Life of Leisure EP, Ford & Lopatin’s Channel Pressure, Ariel Pink’s Before Today) sound weak and diluted in comparison. It’s like comparing a great painting to an Instagram snapshot of the same work. Whereas lesser musicians clasp onto a certain sensation just for some sort of aesthetic credibility or to reductively look back on better times (or worse: for “ironic”--gasp!--purposes), Gonzalez latches onto ‘80s synth pop’s unique aural bliss simply as a vehicle to propel his smartly written and impeccably produced music into the stratosphere. For that distinction alone, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming deserves to be a modern classic.



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user ratings (813)
Chart.
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excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2011



14983 Comments


written in a rush (20 minutes) for my school paper

wabbit
October 25th 2011



6978 Comments


I normally like your reviews but I dunno about this.


foxblood
October 25th 2011



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review, a little short but impressive for 20 min haha. i like your perspective and agree completely, this is a colossal album.

Romulus
October 25th 2011



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

your reviews are always really interesting which is cool

sometimes i think think you're just being silly but this is pretty solid.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2011



14983 Comments


im too lazy to edit this but just know that i have an edit that makes it not seem like im dissing animal collective and that also some wording changes or something. juts know that. just know it

Romulus
October 25th 2011



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

expanding on what i said before
you can always expect your reviews to be like robertsona's take on the current world of music using this album as an example. this isn't really positive or negative but it's kind of cool. reads more like a series of blogs or something than reviews

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2011



21573 Comments


I always thought 75 minutes was a normal length for an album until I realised that it's about twice the average

really need to listen to this. Midnight City wore off me pretty quickly though

Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with so much that you say in this review, good job

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2011



14983 Comments


*yawn* fuckin FINALLY

qwe3
October 30th 2011



21353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

realllllly? damn

RosaParks
October 30th 2011



14592 Comments


It's Knife Man all over again

breesuschrist
November 3rd 2011



736 Comments


bad review

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011



14983 Comments


kool

foxblood
November 3rd 2011



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

why all the negs

Giles
November 3rd 2011



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd. I like the review, something different. Still tells you a lot

CK
September 9th 2013



4873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

When I play this from start to finish, I typically leave out tracks 9 and 10 on disk 1 and 1, 6 and 9 on disk 2. Gets rid of some unnecessary filler and flows pretty nicely

alabasterjones
October 2nd 2013



62 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If I had experienced the best acid trip of my life at 8 years old, this would have been the perfect soundtrack for it. Listening to this album just makes me feel like the dull, soul-crushing emotional void of adulthood is lifted off of me for 75 minutes, and I'm a kid again discovering an awe-inspiring new experience. Still makes me feel this way a couple years and hundreds of listens later. Thank you Anthony Gonzalez.

Digging: Clipping - CLPPNG

avonbarksdale221
October 2nd 2013



8071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You pretty much nailed it. Album makes you feel alive. Plus them hooks



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