Suffice it to say the French native Anthony Gonzalez decided to be ambitious on his next effort with his outfit M83, and for the most part this 72-minute behemoth of a double LP works well; very well in fact, if this album is given some time any listener or fan of shoegaze or synthpop will find something to love!
Coming off the tail-end of the chillwave era that was the last two years, with acts like Neon Indian, Washed Out and Toro Y Moi overpopulating the blogosphere, a synth act with a ridiculous amount of reverb at its disposal would understandably have a hard time pleasing its audience, but Anthony never was a true chillwaver: he’s been around for a while populating the MP3-consuming world with guitar/synth/piano/harmonised vocal-tinged tracks about… well, who the hell knows what about since his vocals were always so reverb-drenched they were incomprehensible, but all us music nerds knew and needed to know was that they sounded good and he didn’t have to overly rely on synths to get to that sweet spot.
For Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, Gonzalez expressed how this album is essentially a reflection of his 30 years on this Earth and how the album is about his dreams — dreams in general, and the cathartic feeling they exhibit on the human mind. When asked what influenced him to make a double album, he said in part albums such as The Smashing Pumpkins’ epic Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness inspired him to contribute a double LP to the indiesphere.
Now I’d go ahead and do a song-by-song review, but with 22 of the fucking things it’d be a bit ridiculous, so I’ll just air out what I thought were the high points and the not-so-high points. With 22 songs at a reviewer’s disposal there’s always one question I ask: are all of them really necessary? Like, seriously? A one-minute track with a train moving sample and airy atmospheric synths? The answer in this case is ‘yes’. A lot of these tracks reference movement and exploration, a prevalent factor in many dreams, staking claim of uncharted lands; and with so many of these tracks blasting saxophones, synths, slap bass, organs, guitars, pianos, 80s close-gated drums, and even harpsichords in my poor AKG-coated ears, it’s very much appreciated that Gonzalez gives us a break every so often. The downside to this album is that as MP3 consumers we’ll just remember the tracks we loved and basically never play those breaks ever again, in an album context though I can see how they work.
All in all, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is not a double LP for the faint of heart, but if you put up with it and find its gems it’s ultimately a fascinatingly rewarding album.