I’ve mentioned my dislike of song picking quite a bit. For those that don’t know that’s when you pick a single song off an album and leave the rest of the album to rot, as if it was not up to the task of entertaining you. To me, that’s like ripping out the middle section of an entire book of poetry. You’re missing the lead ups, the rises and falls, the things that don’t stand out but make the great parts shine none the less. So why am I bringing this up again when talking about “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” by M83? Well, because the latest album from the French electronic band has a song I can’t get over. A song I think I might actually be obsessed with in the weirdest of ways. I’ll say this before getting into the whole rigmarole even if you don’t read this all just watch the video at the bottom, the song is incredible!
M83 makes awesome music, I don’t question that. The combination of approachable and fun electronic music coupled with weird throwback sound effects and 80’s style is just very interesting and fun to listen to. Songs like “Reunion” ooze with 80’s sound and at times you really feel like M83 captured the essence just right, it’s neither too cheesy nor too overdone. They have a great flare to them and are eccentric at just the right moments. “Midnight City” precedes “Reunion” and the two songs are easily the best “real songs” on the entire album. I say that because there are quite a few fillers that are just used as transitions or space fillers, a fad that I really don’t want to see become popular in any fashion. Give me an album with eight amazing songs over an album with 22 songs of varying range any day. Too many songs on the album feel like they’re just there to move us on form one song to the next and it doesn’t seem like it serves much of a purpose. I like the cool sound effect of “This Bright Flash” but overall it doesn’t do much to standout or make me think of it as anything other than “that loud noise”.
What gets me is that the songs that are good are really good. They have a great sound to them and the layers of synthesizing and work that goes into them is really extraordinary. I share the popular opinion that M83 puts too much craziness into their songs sometimes and that toning them down could actually make them more enjoyable overall. But for what the songs are they’re great, an electronic sound that you’re not likely to hear anywhere else anytime soon. If anything most of the synth-driven songs feel like short versions of Explosions in the Sky where the music builds and builds and hymns rise and rise until it bursts with sounds and energy. If anything the builds and climaxes get a bit tired once you hear them over and over. Predictable is the word that comes to mind and with such a quirky and fun band it’s sad that predictable can describe them.
So enough talk about the album let’s talk about my obsession! “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” is something special, somewhere in between a pretentious experiment of sound and a basket filled with kittens meowing and licking one another it’s just strangely amazing. As the beat kicks in a girl recounts hearing about a frog, one that is both very tiny and very special. She goes on and on about this frog, telling the listener its special properties and eventually talking about the most incredible idea for world peace every imagined. Only the mind of a child could create such a magical and innocent world where everyone is everyone else’s friend and they all laugh and jump together forever. It’s adorable, it’s imaginative, it’s heartwarming, and it’s the best thing on this album. That’s not to say that this song is worth taking by itself and I hope no one that reads this post does that whatsoever. The album as a whole is something to be experienced in just that fashion, but this song in particular does indeed stand tall above the rest in my mind. Music is subjective and not everyone can get behind every form of music, but anyone who can’t get behind this little girl and her frog is either too tightly wound or just heartless.
Standout track- I’m not even going to put it here, you know.
Listen to it if- Hearing about that damn frog has made you question everything.
Don’t listen to it if- You laugh when kittens cry.
Overall opinion- Is the album good? Yea it’s not bad, it’s actually pretty fun and feels like the 80’s crashed into epic build up music. But that song…just listen to it down below.