Last October, M83’s sixth album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, was released. After months of build-up, a pretty good single, and a music video about runaway telekinetic kids who throw a super-hip party in a warehouse (or something like that), critics and fans alike devoured it.
As a huge M83 fan, I was just as pumped as everyone else for the supposedly epic double-album that would forever change the way that I would perceive music. After listening to the album a couple of times, waiting for that moment of spiritual awakening, I realized the awful truth of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming: It was just another M83 album. A very good M83 album, but an album that was hyped to an absurd extent.
Due to this hype, it was impossible for me to tell if I genuinely liked the album. I eventually got so sick of all the praise that I started to hate it on principle. On the flip side, when my friend introduced me to M83’s debut album a couple years ago, I didn’t have some exterior force telling me how I should react to it. I felt like I was truly discovering something, building a relationship with the music.
This relationship-building is why there are so many venerated classics that continue to be played to this day: Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin IV, pretty much everything The Beatles ever put out. But our inability to detach ourselves from this relationship and our continued insistence on publicly extolling them has prevented anyone who came after their time from building a real, individualized relationship with the music.
So if you have an album you really love or a band that you would give anything to see live that you just have to show people, check yourself. Suggest it and let your friends discover it for themselves. The only way that good music will survive the generation it was composed for is if a new generation can view it as genuinely meaningful, and not just as a facet of culture.