When I tell people I hate bands that have numbers in their names, I don't feel I need to explain my reasons (blink 182, Sum 41, Maroon 5). But I trip myself up because M83 formed in the early part of last decade, and I rather love the imagination of Anthony Gonzales (who essentially is M83). When he releases an album, it's grand-slam material, and Hurry Up, We're Dreaming may be his biggest "hit" yet.
With 22 tracks, this gorgeously packaged double album has more than 70 minutes of melancholy tinged fantasy, daydreams, frogs, neon lights, stars and heavy hearts. Hurry Up sounds like an M83 record, but Gonzales' vocals are commanding, the anthem's fanfares are bigger, pop moments and choral responses brighter and the somber, spaced-out ambience links it all together for a seamlessly cinematic album.
The omnipresence of everything '80s has certainly crept forth from many independent acts this year (Bon Iver, Destroyer, Eleanor Friedberger), but the heroic saxophone ending the fireworks on "Midnight City," the jittery synth melody on "OK Pal," the slap bass on "Claudia Lewis" and the scope of "Steve McQueen" out does them all. Hurry Up owes lots to the decade that gave us MTV, but the attention to detail is clearly true to the M83 brand. His expressions of shoegaze, pop and synthesized arena rock include more than just a decade; they cover an amalgam of the past 30 years of music, film and digital invention.
Despite having an equally large "83" next to the M (which stands for Messier, after the pinwheel galaxy), Gonzales' music isn't just better than the horrible, parroting number acts," M83 exists 15 million light-miles away.