Hurry Up, I’m Dreaming

All seven of you regular Ashtray Says readers will be excited to hear that I’m gearing up to do a Best of 2011 Extravaganza, which will consist of a Top 50 Albums list, a Top 50 Songs list, and probably some other miscellaneous stuff, and will go up over the course of the first week of January, starting Jan 2. More info on that to come. To tide you over until then, here’s something I’ve been working on the past few days: my re-sequenced version of M83’s blockbuster album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, which was released in October and has been tearing shit up netwide on Best of 2011 lists.

Why do this? Well, I’m a huge M83 fan, and I love most of the songs on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, but I think the album is slightly bloated and terribly sequenced. As Tom Breihan put it in his premature but astute evaluation for Stereogum, the track order doesn’t seem intently thought-out, and you can listen to the album on shuffle without really noticing a change. I’d take that a step further, and say that the positioning of some of the tracks actively detracted from my enjoyment of them; there’s a lot of different sounds on this album, and sometimes they butt up against each other at odd angles. So I decided to indulge my nerdiest instincts and create a version that cut some of the tracks and put the remaining ones in a more coherent order.

Basically, I don’t think the original double-album format works. The two discs have the same general structure, in terms of how the mood changes throughout the disc, and the relatively brief length of each half made it feel, to me, like the tracks were moving from one mood to another too quickly. Obviously I’m in the minority on this, as many many people have been enjoying the hell out of this album for the past few months, but I couldn’t help but feel I would enjoy Hurry Up more if I put the tracks in an order that better allowed their incredible quality to shine.

So what I ended up doing after a couple of “drafts” was (without realizing it) preserving the original foundation of Disc 1, plugging in the key tracks from Disc 2 where they seemed to fit. “This Bright Flash” and “My Tears Are Becoming A Sea,” both fine songs on their own, got cut because they are essentially less-developed retreads of “New Map” and “Outro,” respectively. The instrumental interludes from Disc 2 — “Another Wave From You,” “Fountains,” and “Klaus I Love You” — are also perfectly pleasant but felt inessential to the whole. (The similar interludes from Disc 1 got to stay because of the way they bleed together with their adjacent tracks.) Finally, Disc 2’s “Splendor,” which I consider the weakest song on the album and sort of a pace-killer, got chucked.

If you want to make a playlist and listen to my resequenced version of the album for yourself, the tracklist is below. I got super duper nerdy and spliced a fragment of “Klaus I Love You” into the end of “Soon, My Friend” so that it would flow more naturally into “Outro,” so if you’re REALLY into this thing, you can right-click download my edited version from the link below. Otherwise, just putting the tracks into a playlist will give you pretty much the same experience.

1:: Intro (ft. Zola Jesus)
2:: Midnight City
3:: New Map
4:: Reunion
5:: Where The Boats Go
6:: Steve McQueen
7:: Year One, One UFO
8:: Echoes of Mine
9:: Wait
10:: Raconte-Moi Une Histoire
11:: Train To Pluton
12:: Claudia Lewis
13:: OK Pal
14:: When Will You Come Home?
15:: Soon, My Friend
16:: Outro


~ by toren on December 27, 2011.

4 Responses to “Hurry Up, I’m Dreaming”

  1. I look forward to your 2011 extravaganza. Going through your 2010 thingy was rewarding.
    Phew! I just posted my top 10 albums of 2011, top folk list, and top acoustic 2011 list, so now I’m going to sit back and not post for a while ( :

  2. I agree with your take on the double album. I’m putting together your reworked version now…

    here’s to hoping your list gives some love to the under-acknowledged d.steve, braids, and (to a lesser extent) yuck albums!

    • i’m afraid d steve won’t be making the cut, but i think you’ll be pleased with how braids and yuck do on my lists. (which is to say they’re basically the MVPs of the whole thing if you take the top albums and top songs lists together.)

  3. […] 13 :: M83 | Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming [my version] […]

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