3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Musical disappointment of 2011,
This review is from: Hurry Up We're Dreaming (Audio CD)
When I first saw M83's new album was a double CD release, like many M83 fans I was delighted and intrgued at the thought of hearing many new songs from an artist who had always been that little bit different and was always creating such interesting sound collages through his music.
Laterally, I began to think that an artist who is releasing a double CD worth of new material would either fall into one of three categories (a) he is an artist who had undergone a recent creative rebirth and there were ideas for new songs coming from everywhere, (b) much of the extra material were fillers and b-sides which he is padding out the album with, or (c) he perceives he is going through some creative stage and is exploring new musical territory, therefore he has more to share. I think (c) applies in this case and sadly, its a misconception, there is no new ground being pushed here.
'Intro' is only that, an introduction, yet it appears to be positive ground and leads us into 'Midnight City' in optimistic mood. 'Midnight City' reminds me of previous achievements on 'Saturdays=Youth' and is one of this album's few highlights.
'Reunion' is also good, the guitars chime well in an 80's fashion but there is a portent here, even within this good song, there begins an altogether too common sound in todays musical landscape, its a sound which Mr. Gonzalez would serve well to steer clear from, as just because others are doing it, doesn't mean its good, yes, its the vocal 'Oh, oh, ohhs' or derivations of. Every song nowadays seems to feature this vocal filler, as if there is nothing more to say, or that the songwriter could not be bothered to write anymore lyrics to fill the void.
And it all goes downhill from there. Songs drift into barren dullness and worst of all, self-indulgent guitar strumming 'Wait' et al. This is another all too prominent feature of modern music, too many singer-songwriters pouring out their whinesome preoccupations that they haven't enough milk in the fridge or that there day is just very hard because they have to got to work, etc. Mr. Gonzalez, when the market is flooded with these types, what we are looking for is something different, not the same thing.
While I am aware that every artist has to evolve in his/her own right and I also do no accept that they will simply rehash the same sounds for album upon album, for that would be boring (apologies to Phil Collins), you have to admit there was something different and comforting in the sounds created in M83's previous outputs which I am sure could have been modified in a significant way without compromising on their ethereal atmosphere and not leave us with mainstream sounding indie pop.
Many of the rest of the songs on here follow one of two paths, the strummy guitar one surrounded with some atmospherics or the more regular drum-led ones which build to a sound crescendo along the lines of Arcade Fire, et al, again hardly anything new.
I was really looking forward to this album and was quite shocked at its lack of energy and direction. When there is much crap out there at the moment, M83 were one of the few vanguards of something different, something good but now, I feel he is trying to abandon this for a life on the oh-oh-ohhhs and the mainstream. I rarely give poor reviews as evidenced by my other reviews but this one has earned it.