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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Take the best of Sigur Ros and Godspeed You Black Emperor, pour all your soul into it, and you have nothing less but M83's painfully beautiful masterpiece, "Before the Dawn Heals Us". Founding M83 member Anthony Gonzalez starts a solo track with this album, showing us what the human spirit is capable of conceiving. He can make you cry tears of joy or sadness equally, with a production that is going to stand the test of time.

There is no song better than the others in this production. The whole album stands firm as a rock, ready to be listened to millions of times, to be interpreted and reinterpreted without fear. Simply put, "Before the Dawn Heals Us" is by far one of the best albums in a long time, and becomes the first one in my Best of 2005 list.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2005
M83 adds one simple instrument to the mix on their new album and the entire experience is tranformed. The addition of voice makes Before The Dawn Heals Us seem both more personal and more distant than their previous albums. On Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, you felt as if you were transported to some alien place; perhaps in space, perhaps another planet or universe entirely. On Before The Dawn Heals Us, you are left on the planet Earth. But it is not an Earth we know. It is an apocalyptic world of flames, fear and loss but at the same time a world of hope.

M83 is still an entirely electronic band, but on Before The Dawn Heals Us their synthesizers sound different. Rather than existing solely as electronic sounds, as they did in previous albums, synthesizers here frequently serve to emulate some real world instrument; be it guitar, piano or drum kit. These two differences from previous albums make Before The Dawn Heals Us M83's most accessable and beautiful album yet. You easily become immersed in the album's haunting wails, pounding beats and driving riffs. A few songs have a rather uplifting feel to them (Let Men Burn Stars, Can't Stop), but most have a depressing sense of urgency to them, compelling you to listen further but retaining their sadness. Especially chilling is Car Chase Terror!, which weaves in a truly frightening dialogue between a mother and child with heart racing synths. Overall, this album is completely amazing. It may help you fall asleep, it may make your heart pound or it may make you just want to lie in your backyard, staring up at the stars, but whatever the case, you will definitely enjoy listening to it. Though it's much to early to judge, Before The Dawn Heals Us definitely goes on my Best of 2005 list.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Maturity has reach Anthony gonzalez, and this is not a bad thing at all. The songs are potent and moody, keeping a float its shoegazing charm. The year beggings with a CD that's one of the best albums of 2005. Play it loud and enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2005
I thought this was absolutely wonderful. It is rare these days that a CD contains more then 4 great songs and this one definitely does. It's somewhat `This Mortal Coil' meets `Pink Floyd'. I am tired of the same old American Pop-Rap stuff we are being fed and this was very refreshing. The best songs are `Safe', `Moon child', `In the Cold I'm Standing' and `Farewell Goodbye'. I agree it's different from the other M83 albums but I prefer this one. If you like this also check out Cyann & Ben, Lily Chou-Chou (Japanese Import), Mum, This Mortal Coil, Sigur Ros, & Emiliana Torrini (her older stuff).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2005
After delivering the minimalist, yet harsh and driving "Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts" and going through the departure of his collaborator Nicolas Fromageau, Anthony Gonzalez had quite a few challenges ahead of him through the making of this album. Would the one-man group decide to tread a similar route, go into a new wacky direction, or a healthy mixture of both?

The answer is ultimately a mixture of both elements. The overall sound haven't changed that much as bombastic and overdriven synths still command the album's content, but Gonzalez has a few more tricks up his sleeve, as well. This album has a lot more of an urban feel to it, it ties itself up into a story that the listener is invited to complete and it also introduces real-sounding instruments, such as drums, guitars and even vocals through most tracks. The vocals don't really have much of a meaning through the album and most of the time, they flirt with melodrama a lot, but their intonation make the songs work and as with most electronic albums, lyrics are not the key element of the music. What matters in the end is composition, and M83 has that filed up for you.

Songs like "Don't Save Us From The Flames", "*" and "Teen Angst" show M83's ability to explore a rockier territory while using his trademark and not compromising his vision. They're hard-driving, yet incredibly melodic at the same time. On the other hand, songs such as "On The Cold I'm Standing" take a backseat through eerie, dark ambience. The name of that particular song really says it all, as it feels lonesome and searching.

Shorter interludes pop out through the disc at times, and unlike many artists, M83 use such interludes to great effect. They do a great job at linking the tracks together and manage to go down their own way as well. Some of these even tend to recall Vangelis' more ambient pieces at times, such as the lush "Let Men Burn Stars", in which some people make some fireworks explode in the sky as the song plays. It sounds ridiculous and hopelessly romantic, and it probably is. On the other hand, the approach is original and is certainly more abstract than any of those corny songs you'll hear on the FM radio.

However, there are times where indulgence gets a bit too much within the album's way. "Car Chase Terror", while being a decent track composition-wise, is ruined by incredibly corny B-movie dialogue which is about a woman being scared by a killer, piling up line after line such as "Don't you worry butterfly, mommy will keep the killer away...". Its cringe-worthy and cliché approach just fail to add up to the album as a whole as it feels too disconnected. "Fields, Shorelines and Hunters" is more of a filler track as well, featuring some rather corny, uplifting melodies and an annoying drum track.

This album is ultimately not a great jump up from the group's former album, the more ambient-driven and pastoral "Dead Cities..." but this album has enough uniqueness to satisfy fans of the former outing of the band whilst attracting other open-minded music fans. Anyone who is into shoegaze rock like My Bloody Valentine (to whom M83 have been compared a lot to) or slower, pop-oriented electronic bands such as Air should find something to enjoy here, provided you have the required patience to wade through some of the album's occasional stabs at indulgence. Definitely worth a listen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2007
This is one emotional album. To compare it to any other M83 albums would be difficult. While all their CD are great, Before the Dawn... in my opinion is a step up in the maturity level of the lyrics and in song craft compared to the likes of Dead Cities.. I suppose that Before the Dawn.. could be more compared to Natural Disaster era Anathema. Its really the same sort of thing, melancholy lyrics with beautiful passages paired with some female vocals.
If you are an emotional sort, these songs may take you to places you dont want to be. They are very fatalistic and beautifully morose. I personally dont see too much redemption in this CD as some of these reviewers do, but thats up to interpretation. It just isnt a very happy CD. If I ever feel the need to do "the deed" this album will be right up there with Alternative 4 and Brave Murder day.
In summery all the tracks are outstanding. Hell, at the risk of being a wimp they made me cry out loud. Its that emotional. Dont get me wrong its a sweet album and I feel if you didnt get it you would be missing out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It is very rare for me to find music that I can honestly say emotionally moves me, and M83's "Before the Dawn Heals Us" does not merely move me, it guides me through emotional states I never really thought music could. Tracks such as "Moon Child", "Teen Angst", and "Lower Your Eyes to Die with the Sun" cause me to have the same emotional storm felt when i look up at a starry night sky, or watch the trees of a forest blow about on a bright sunny day. The sound of this album has the strange ability to make your mind recall the moments when it was almost blown apart by awe, wonder, and beauty.

Even though I'm not a religious man, and I can honestly say that a listen of this album is a spiritual experience. In it, I hear the dance of the cosmos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I've rarely experienced anything i'd call a "perfect album." As much as i love albums that are emotionally endearing, i'd say i haven't heard a perfect one in a long time. Hearing "Before the Dawn Heals Us" by M83 was like hearing music for the first time. It's the most etheral and musically emotional album I've ever heard. Over three days, it has easily made its way into my top three favorite albums of all time. The music is composed so gorgeously and the lyrics that do sparsely accompany some of the songs (most are instrumental) are extremely delicate, yet add a whole new level of depth to the songs. The lyrics fall on the morbid side ("A piece of brain in my hair"), but because of the soft vocals and outstanding instrumental efforts, they come off as Shakespeare (or perphaps, T.S. Eliot, if you want to be specific). Bottom line is that I was seriously taken by this album. I've been an Amazon customer since 1996 (I believe)and this is the first time i have ever been compelled to leave feedback for a product. Give this album a try. It's without a doubt, worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A certain apocalyptic shadow hangs over "Before The Dawn Heals Us," a distinct feeling of scrambling for the few necessary supplies and the connections with our loved ones which alone will sustain us after the HUGE, IMPENDING DISASTER. This album's cinematic scope is present not only in the dynamics, which veer from soft crickets in the background of certain tracks to immense walls of dense sound that channel Kevin Shields and Sigur Ros simultaneously; but also in the feelings of panic and bliss that are alternately evoked -- sometimes the music is claustrophobic, sometimes open and expansive to the point of inducing agoraphobia. One of BTDHU's main strengths is that it is "electronica" that is not solely beat-driven -- there is no easy 4/4 to hang onto and stabilize the listener. This only serves to increase the listener's sense of hurtling toward some unavoidable event.

Melodically simple, emotionally effective, this M83 release listens like the soundtrack to a David Lynch film about worldwide disaster and its survivors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2005
They are romantics who can put love into anything. Even brains in Tina's hair. They explode and keep it burning until the end.
No matter how much you try, it is hard to capture this music in a single motion, it always seems to blast by like a very strong wind from the ocean (this is not a cheesy poem). And when it is done with you, you feel a little reborn, a little more aware of the world. The associations that come with this music are increddible. It is all very beautiful.
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