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There are some albums that appeal to your head, and then there are some that appeal solely to the heart. In the countdown of our best albums of 2011, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake would be the perfect example of the former, while M83′s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – a double disc of epic electronic prog-pop – is 2011′s golden child of the latter category. It aims and hits the bullseye.
From the Zola-Jesus featuring Intro track of disc 1 to the grandiose close of disc 2′s Outro, Anthony Gonzalez’s 22 songs generally fall into two categories – short soundscapes and longer, foot-t0-the-floor epics, making it surprisingly digestible in one chunk. In 2011 indie-rock, aiming for the sky was in short supply but Gonzalez went there, and then some.
With giant hooks, clever instrumentation and irresistible arrangements, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming delivers more with each listen and each time you notice something new you want to listen even more. It’s solid gold single Midnight City details everything that’s good with this record, but it is supplemented with a string of indelible supporting players. The fists in the air synth-rock of Reunion and New Map, the Breakfast Club 80′s sheen of OK Pal, the light funk of Claudia Lewis, the hammer and tongs of Steve McQueen, they all add up to mean there is no slack here and thankfully no two-song glitch for the listener to catch their breath. It’s a non-stop rollercoaster.
Quite simply, this is an album that stands head and shoulders above the rest both in terms of ambition and execution. An absolute must in any record collection.