But of course, the album presents a third escape route beside city and country: the inner escape to the mind and its dreamscapes. Whether it's in the whispered intimacy of a tune like "Intro," the intergalactic "Train to Pluton," or the other-worldly vocal squawk of ravetastic jam-of-the-year "Midnight City," Hurry Up is filled with eccentric tics and otherworldly touches, like a finger slicing the air and revealing the unreality of everything it touches. An album this ambitious can't help but melt into the surreal in its pursuit of the epic — and it all works because it's grounded in Gonzalez's pursuit of real emotion in his work.
"This album is about all the moments of my life," he says. "My teenage years, my childhood, my life as an adult. There's confidence and brightness, but also melancholy and nostalgia. I was just excited to write about my 30 years of being a human being."
It's clear that for Gonzalez, concocting epic music isn't about occupying time but about infusing his music with the most intense distillation of his mind's eye — in some ways the experience of the process is more important than the end result.
"For the first time in my life, with this album I was thinking, 'Just go for it.' With previous records, I had restrained myself, but with this one I didn't, and I have no regrets. Sure, in a way the record is epic, or pompous, and some people might say it's pretentious as well. But for me, I think about the making of this album and how all of us who made it almost had tears in our eyes, because we were part of this very sincere process, this beautiful adventure, one that we'll remember all our lives, forever. And this is what I'm most proud of, in the end. Not the album itself — I mean, I'm proud of it, too, but I'm more proud because I went all the way."
M83 | House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston | November 20 @ 7 pm | $18-$30 | all-ages | 888.693.2583 or hob.com/boston
THE REVENGE OF THE DOUBLE ALBUM
The lexicon of classic rock is crowded with famous (and infamous) double albums — the signifier of an artist at the peak of their creative growth spurt, or the nadir of their disdain for both editing and their audience. Physical Graffiti, The Wall, London Calling, Songs in the Key of Life, Tommy, Chicago Transit Authority, Tales from Topographic Oceans — the conventions of this album subset are as well known as those of its even-more-disreputable cousin, the triple live album.
You would think that the double album went out of fashion with the advent of the indie '90s, but not exactly. Or have we all forgotten Daydream Nation, The Fragile, or, God help us, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness? Here are four post-classic rock, pre-M83 double albums for your consideration:
THE ORB | THE ORB'S ADVENTURES BEYOND THE ULTRAWORLD  | Sure, there were plenty of pointlessly long house/progressive albums throughout the late '80s and early '90s (hello, FSOL!) that wasted everyone's time while making disc manufacturers double the bank — but the Orb were the exception, especially on their debut, where 110 minutes is almost too little time to contain a romp through the history of sound and a journey through the darkest corners of the ambient universe.