Part of M83â€™s (Anthony Gonzalezâ€™s) appeal is that his music canâ€™t be reduced to simple definition. In art, defying categorization is either a good sign or itâ€™s a symptom of an incoherent concept. M83â€™s sound certainly tends to cohere, although the range of sensations it elicits is impressively diverse. OnÂ Hurry Up, Weâ€™re DreamingÂ we move through a double-album that starts as robust, clinically infectious energy. Its part of M83â€™s cleverness that he can embed strong vocals into his melodies; for the opening few tracks he calls on Zola Jesus, long-time collaborator Morgan Kirby, to struggle against the barrage of sound he produces. The thrilling momentum established is broken up by brief, at times unsettling, ambience pieces, like â€œWhere the Boats Goâ€ and â€œWhen Will You Come Home?â€ Two songs are never of a consistent pace: weâ€™re entertained by a panoply of different emotions.
On the second disc, the music begins to flesh out a more perceptible narrative. The songs are intended to evoke a range of associations and memories. Thus, we move from Gonzalezâ€™s faintly sentimental lyrics on â€œMy Tears Are Becoming a Sea,â€ to the upbeat, quickening drum rolls of â€œNew Map;â€ the latter is appended with a delightful flurry of woodwind and guitar chords. Few electro artists can mine conventional instrumentation for this kind of harmonic elegance. Gonzalez pulls a similar trick on â€œSplendor,â€ except that here it is a piano playing alongside choric female in something akin to a Christmas lullaby. Still, the albumâ€™s narrative arc is more biological than seasonal. As we progress to the conclusion, we gain the perspective of age. An old lady speaks of a forest in her dream: â€œCe n’est pas une forÃªt ordinaire, c’est une forÃªt de souvenirs.â€ She looks at her hands and recognizes her 21-year-old self: â€œEt Jâ€™aime comme je nâ€™ai jamais aimÃ©.â€ The albumâ€™s achievement is that it creates a deeply poignant soundscape, without it ever feeling alien.