Hurry Up, We're DreamingAlbum |
Anthony Gonzalez makes his grand statement.
After breaking into the indie mainstream with 2008's Saturdays=Youth, M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez moved to Los Angeles and decided to make his grand statement. The double-album-length Hurry Up, We're Dreaming has the same nostalgic feel as its predecessor, but moves up its musical references about a decade, from '80s synth pop to the bombastic side of '90s alt-rock. Gonzalez has repeatedly cited Smashing Pumpkins' own double-disc, Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, as the album's direct inspiration, but those who have an aversion to Billy Corgan can relax: this is nowhere near so pretentious and overreaching. In fact, the expanded instrumentation -- acoustic guitars, reeds and woodwinds, strings, brass, the angelic backing vocals of M83's touring keyboardist Morgan Kibby, even a few harp glissandos on the soaring "OK Pal" -- matches the newfound directness of Gonzalez's songwriting. Unabashed big catchy pop songs like "New Map" and "Steve McQueen" are the rule here, with the quasi-ambient dreaminess of M83's earliest work mostly relegated to a handful of brief interlude tracks and the massed-vocals swoon of "Splendor." The mood ranges from the playfulness of "Raconte-Moi Une Histoire" (featuring producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen's five-year-old daughter breathlessly spinning a surreal yarn) to the climactic aggression of "Echoes of Mine," which almost veers off into Godspeed You! Black Emperor territory. Old-school fans who found even Saturdays=Youth too pop-oriented for their tastes may be even more disillusioned with this unapologetically epic album, but Gonzalez has proven that he's ready for the big screen.