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Savoring dreams too sweet to last on M83's ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’

(Nicholas Roberts for The New York Times/File 2009)
By James Reed
Globe Staff / October 18, 2011

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An album that opens with a song called “Intro’’ and closes with “Outro’’ tells you something about its maker. As the mastermind behind M83, French musician Anthony Gonzalez does not create disposable dance-pop. It’s meant to be consumed as something grander, music for the feet, head, and heart.

“Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming,’’ M83’s latest, is a widescreen opus: a double album whose 22 songs fan out over nearly 80 minutes, replete with brief interludes that break up the flow. It comes with a foldout booklet with lyrics and song credits.

The album is ambitious and brimming with all sorts of stray ideas, but it’s also suited to Gonzalez’s expansive gifts. His talent lies largely in his ability to make even the iciest synth-pop sound warm and embracing.

On “Hurry Up,’’ a lush, spectral quality coats several of the songs. “Wait,’’ which glows with an ambient tenderness before cresting into full-blown ecstasy, works as a blueprint for the entire album. Even the wailing sax solo on “Midnight City’’ somehow sounds soulful.

Often the soaring melodies are more memorable than the words, which in some cases are barely there. “I’ll be yours Sunday,’’ chanted over and over, is all you’re allowed to know about “Soon, My Friend.’’ And that’s enough.

By the end of the second disc, though, fatigue sets in - both for Gonzalez and the listener. Maybe that’s to be expected: After more than an hour of euphoric highs, you inevitably have to crash. (Out today)

ESSENTIAL “Midnight City’’

M83 performs at the House of Blues on Nov. 20.