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Electronic - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

M83's lush, expansive sound already made their albums feel twice as big as they were, so an actual double album from Anthony Gonzalez and company was inevitable. However, on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, he doesn’t use that extra space to top the widescreen nostalgia of Saturdays = Youth; instead, he fills it with songs that cover more sounds and moods than any of M83's previous work, resulting in impressionistic moments that add up to a grand statement. The album begins with two songs that reaffirm Gonzalez's flair for the unapologetically epic. He recruits Zola Jesus for "Intro," and her unusual mix of frostbitten edge and vulnerable warmth is a perfect conduit for the huge emotions Gonzalez favors. With its sleek neon tones, "Midnight City" shows just how far he's traveled from Saturdays = Youth's ornate sound. He goes even farther afield with the tender piano instrumental "Where the Boats Go"; "Raconte-Moi Un Histoire," where a child imagines a world where everyone turns into jungle frogs over bouncy synths and guitars; and "Soon, My Friend," which ends the album's first half with symphonic grandeur and Beach Boys harmonies. On its second half, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming sounds more traditionally M83, from the triumphant yet heartbroken "My Tears Are Becoming a Sea" to the thrilling rush of "New Map" and "Steve McQueen." Despite the album's sprawl, Gonzalez holds everything together with wide-eyed enthusiasm. He handles most of the vocals here, singing with a yelp that evokes Howard Jones on "Reunion" and "OK Pal" -- and while this album is as indebted to the '80s as his previous album was, it somehow feels less steeped in nostalgia. Gonzalez displays his uncanny knack for making unfashionable sounds fresh again with "Claudia Lewis'" un-ironic slap bass and "Splendor'"s children’s choir; it takes guts to use these sounds, and brains to use them well, and fortunately, he has both. Unlike Saturdays = Youth's wall-to-wall epics, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming ebbs and flows, with interludes like the dreamy "Echoes of Mine" and "Klaus I Love You" tipping the album’s balance toward atmosphere instead of pop songs. More than any of M83's other albums, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming feels like a destination to explore, and its retro-futuristic ambition helped set the tone for synth pop in the 2010s. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Electronic - Released April 8, 2016 | Mute

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Electronic - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic - Released April 8, 2016 | Mute

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Electronic - Released May 14, 2020 | Mute

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Electronic - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic - Released September 9, 2014 | Mute

On the list as one of the most radiant keyboard albums, M83's absurdly lush Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts combines a small arsenal of antiquated synths and drum machines with a shoegaze aesthetic to create a giant starburst of sound and analog miasma. A French duo comprised of Nicolas Fromageau and Anthony Gonzalez, the pair's songs seem to evolve from one major chord to the next with tremendous velocity, always accumulating dense new layers of sound along the way. The keyboards throb, quiver, arpeggiate, and drone with such unbridled intensity that there's rarely any space (or need) for anything else. But while the shrill analog thrash of "America," the frenzied overload of "0078H," and the sustained crescendo of "Noise" certainly prove beyond doubt that guitars needn't be a prerequisite for post-rock dramatics, M83 are so much more than just a quiet-loud-quiet-loud outfit with a twist. As evidenced by the singsongy hymnal of "In Church," the sweetly sung vocals on "Run Into Flowers," and the provincial chimes of final track "Beauties Can Die," M83 is a keyboard band of the best kind: one with nuance, tone, thrash, and color. © Mark Pytlik /TiVo
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Electronic - Released February 2, 2017 | Mute

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Electronic - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic - Released January 20, 2017 | Mute

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Electronic - Released October 16, 2015 | Mute

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Electronic - Released September 9, 2014 | Mute

Before the Dawn Heals Us is M83's follow-up to the 2003 international breakthrough Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. If you're noticing a trend toward drifting album titles, that's deliberate -- M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez loves crafting antigravity masterpieces of layered and meandering synthesizers. He's also the principal player on Dawn, with previous collaborator Nicolas Fromageau having moved into solo work. Left to his own devices, Gonzalez has made a more cohesive record than Dead Cities. As nice as they were, that album's synthesized soundscapes tended to drift into a foggy territory between Boards of Canada and Tangerine Dream. Dawn remedies that with the addition of vocals, more consistent beats, and a cinematic pace. "Teen Angst" and "Don't Save Us From the Flames" pin gorgeous melodies to an indie electronic sound comparable to the Notwist; "Flames" in particular is a great departure, roaring out of the gate with giddy drum fills and an oscillating keyboard squiggle. "Farewell/Goodbye" is an icy, Air-ish duet between Ben of Cyann & Ben and Big Sir vocalist Lisa Papineau; it's not the most effective thing on Before the Dawn Heals Us, but it works as a love theme to the imaginary Michael Mann film Gonzalez seems at times to be directing. (Check out that cover art.) The album also has its stretches of instrumental wander. "I Guess I'm Floating," for example, features a scattered sample of children's laughter over lingering keyboard flourishes. But Gonzalez never gets carried away on the breeze -- he'll set a mood, but he'll cut it wide open, too. "Let Men Burn Stars" is a breathy and innocuous lull before the recording's most intense passage, "Car Chase Terror." "Look at my hands, I'm shaking...." a woman (actress Kate Moran) says over the hiss of crickets, her words tense with fear. A moody electronic pulse fades in, and suddenly you're in the midst of the chase, narrated by the same scared voice -- "Turn the key! Go! Go!" -- and the melody is melodramatic and terrifying all at once. Before the Dawn Heals Us is ambitious for sure, an emphatic step forward from the linger of Dead Cities. But it might also be a transition album for Gonzalez, a storyboard of where he'll take M83 next. © Johnny Loftus /TiVo
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Electronic - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute