A large list of pros and cons can be presented in regard to double albums.
Sure they give the music on a particular lengthy record a sense of premise, context or simply an epic quality. Cons include the inability to hold attention due to songs that have a meaningless drone or perhaps a forced musical character wrapped around weak creativity (see Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Stadium Arcadium”).
Regardless, these albums stand as reflections of strong musical desire in the listening population of the country — they’re distinctive and memorable.
M83, the dream pop, shoegaze project of Anthony Gonzalez, presents a worthy release along these lines with “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.”
“Hurry Up” has the physicality of a conceptual album. It has an ear-luring “Intro,” supported by the deep chants of Zola Jesus. This is complemented with a concluding “Outro.”
The first disc ends with “When Will You Come Home?” which is followed up with its answer, “Soon, My Friend.” The songs are partnered up, so it seems, giving the album’s lengthy frame a sense of togetherness and acting as a sort of synth-pop call-and-response.
The album has its moments of being quite catchy, in particular with its current single, “Midnight City.” It’s interesting to note that the song appears as the second track on the album, serving as not only a wake up call for those zoned out by “Intro” but also as a call to action — Gonzalez is now ready for his presentation of
“Hurry Up.” It’s in these fetching times that Gonzalez showcases his ability to give songs based on synth-heavy hooks a truly grandiose characteristic.
There’s a compelling narrative held within “Hurry Up,” even if the listener doesn’t search for lyricism. Each song becomes increasingly dramatic and engaging, evidenced by the last third or so of the album. It’s in this section that the record becomes a series of sensible entities.
The folky “Year One, One UFO” shifts into possibly the most anthemic work the album, “Steve McQueen.” Gonzalez then drives it home with powerful, volume-shifting tracks at the end: “Echos of Mine” and the ever-fitting “Outro.”
There’s a certain, powerful experience to be had with listening to “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.” As such, “Hurry Up” is an extremely impressive undertaking of M83, if not their most significant to date.