• Band Name: M83
  • Record Label: Mute
  • Release Date: Jan 25, 2005
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 91
    Part romantic, starry-eyed shoegaze pop and part paranoid explosions of sound. [#14, p.96]
  2. [A] sublime soundtrack to dancing in the moonlight. [21 Jan 2005, p.88]
  3. The inclusion of organic instruments really takes M83's keyboard-based material to the next level. [#8, p.107]
  4. 90
    Grandiose, overwhelming, pretentious and absurd, Before The Dawn Heals Us is one of the first great albums of 2005. [Feb 2005, p.79]
  5. Full of so many moments of exhilarating joy and equally exhilarating sorrow.
  6. Gonzalez bathes us in a sound so big and enveloping that it’s impossible not to bask in its powerful, optimistic glow.
  7. This is a mammoth collusion of synth gasps and distorted swirls, darker and more urban than its meadow-bound predecessor.
  8. M83’s latest, given careful attention, is a rather impressive and blissful experience.
  9. [M83] create some of the freakiest European-horror-movie soundtracks ever to see the light, all covered in Warp Records futuristic electro-plasm. [22 Jan 2005, p.50]
  10. Like 2003’s Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, Before the Dawn is commendable for its almost obsessive attention to detail that has produced a collection of gorgeously layered and dense songs without ever sounding laboured.
  11. A travelogue of even richer and stranger territory than its storming predecessor ‘Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts’, although, inevitably, there’s more than a sprinkling of dead cities and lost ghosts throughout, to say nothing of the occasional red sea too.
  12. For all its reference points, it's a remarkable and original record.
  13. A fascinating listen, a psychedelic journey through time and space, where vintage keyboards create a musical dream.
  14. M83 has written and recorded a kind of secular Mass, dull at times and transcendent at others, but overall a stunning example of how to turn sound into ceremony.
  15. On the whole, Before The Dawn Heals Us is a more unified, singular vision than Dead Cities.
  16. There are several songs on the release that are easily among the best that the group has ever done, but by the time the 15 tracks and well over an hour run length are over, the release feels a bit on the long side and many of the shorter tracks simply feel like sketches that weren't fully fleshed-out.
  17. 70
    The tracks... feel more like loose, languid, quiet-loud sketches and fine textures than actual songs. [Jan/Feb 2005, p.96]
  18. Before the Dawn Heals Us is ambitious for sure, an emphatic step forward from the linger of Dead Cities.
  19. 70
    What's strangest about M83 is that they try to, and very often succeed in, creating rhapsodic, gorgeous music out of an array of tacky, patently unromantic synth sounds. [#9, p.71]
  20. Admittedly, there are some notable missteps, but nothing as to suggest irrevocable damage to the album's sheen.
  21. Before The Dawn Heals Us is a very twilight album, a very urban record. It never quite achieves the variegated subtlety of Dead Cities..., but it doesn’t reach for the same frosty rural pastures as that record either.
  22. Often, it's all too much -- too many synths, too many drums, too much reverb; it's as if every subtlety of that first record was magnified in the production process, its once lithe and supple frame vulgarly pumped with steroids.
  23. Doesn't have enough finesse to hold your interest all the way. [27 Jan 2005, p.61]
  24. For every breathtaking melodic rush like Don't Save Us From the Flames, with its guitars whizzing and whooshing like fireworks, there is a piece of portentous tosh like Moonchild, which calls to mind Spinal Tap and a scale model of Stonehenge.
  25. A lusher, synthier and all-around grandiose slab of shoegazer emoting and New Age cinematics. [#14, p.120]
  26. Have you ever fallen asleep during the X-Files’ opening credits, then awoken to a Volkswagen commercial? Have you ever wanted to?
  27. Although M83's ambitions are often great, there is a problem here: Before The Dawn often drags its feet. [Mar 2005, p.138]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Oct 16, 2013
    10
    best album everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  2. Nov 6, 2010
    7
    Take 'Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts', and move the band into a big city. What do you get? 'Before the Dawn Heals Us'! This album as aTake 'Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts', and move the band into a big city. What do you get? 'Before the Dawn Heals Us'! This album as a whole, doesn't have the sonic scope or feeling that their earlier releases do, but there are some gems here. The production shimmers like city lights, and everything is a lot more polished this time round. But not in a good way. The tracks are verging on cheesy here, but they get away with it.

    Personal Highlights. Moonchild, In the Cold I'm Standing, I guess I'm Floating, Asterik, Car Chase Terror
    Full Review »
  3. TylerD
    Jan 6, 2007
    10
    M83's Before the Dawn Heals Us is, in a nutshell, brilliant. I haven't heard Dead Cities and I already love the band. I'm M83's Before the Dawn Heals Us is, in a nutshell, brilliant. I haven't heard Dead Cities and I already love the band. I'm really looking forward to hearing more. But for now, Before the Dawn Heals Us is filling my M83-hearing need just fine. One of the greatest albums I've ever heard. Full Review »