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The 5 best albums of 2011 – M83

There are some things that the French do better than anybody; smoke, surrender, cheese, wine  and arty films about women trapped in loveless marriages. To that, we must add effortlessly cool retro-electro pop which manages to be both simultaneously chilled and euphoric. M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is an outstanding slice of everything you love about electronic music.

From the opening of ‘Intro’ it’s clear that we’ve hit on something very special. A keyboard wash here, a sample there, the addition of a smooth horn section – it’s almost metronomically perfect. At times recalling Phoenix, at others ABC, it seems to be both dramatically now and strikingly then. But this is music you can dance or listen to and you don’t have to be off your face to do either – indeed, given the elegance on display here, it would seem positively vulgar if you were.

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