Album Review: LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening

By on Monday, 19th April 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Isn’t the title of ‘This is Happening’, LCD Soundsystem‘s third album to be released in mid-May, a bit cocky, as if a prediction of success at its ultimate destination, the dance clubs? James Murphy hinted to American music magazine Rolling Stone that this will be the last LCD Soundsystem album ever, which could be interpreted as a threat (as in ‘this is the end, catch us while you can my peeps!’) or a graceful bowing out to let the 21st century wave of dance punk wunderkinder shine. After listening to this album, I sincerely hope the co-founder of DFA Records was joking because he and LCD Soundsystem have recorded some fantastic tracks for ‘This is Happening’, indicating there is more ground they could cover in future releases.

‘Dance Yrself Clean’ starts far too mellow. But hang in there, because then the dance groove kicks in, getting your toes tapping. The second track, ‘Drunk Girls’, has received universal kudos but for me it’ll have to be a grower. Maybe the reason I don’t immediately like it has to do with having been on the receiving end of shouty dialogue from pissed boys at gigs who sound eerily like Murphy does in this song. I’m telling you, if you think the ‘Drunk Girls’ single is great, just wait until you hear the rest of the album. Most of it anyway.

The drumming is amazing on ‘One Touch’. If any of these tracks were destined for dancefloor greatness, I think this is it (after it’s been remixed and trimmed a bit). Or possibly I spoke too hastily: the understated but wickedly good groove of ‘You Wanted a Hit’ sounds guaranteed to get hipsters on the floor, booty shaking into the wee hours of the morning. Indeed, while listening to this album I got the distinct feeling that the best way to appreciate most of this music is by hearing it blasted out by an Ibizan DJ and being able to let your hair down with a sweaty dance crowd. And maybe after having one too many mojitos.

‘All I Want’ is swirly goodness, the only problem being the squealing dissonant notes that stick out like a sore thumb above the rest of the rhythm just gently chugging away in the background to Murphy’s dreamy vocals. Similar likeable beats feature in ‘I Can Change’; some people think lyrics to dance tracks are insipid, but this track has the lovely refrain of “I can change, I can change, I can change / if it helps you fall in love”. Lovely stuff to dance to while falling in love with someone under the mirrorball, just classic.

More challenging is ‘Pow Pow’, which features Murphy rapping over a bouncy rhythm, then shouting “pow!” over and over again with female singers (the DFA Celestial Choir perhaps?). I know I shouldn’t find it humourous but I do. This is followed by the quieter ‘Someone’s Calling Me’, which definitely confused me with its fingersnaps, understated instrumentation and overall unsettling, spidery feeling. In the end, Murphy brings things round full circle with the closer ‘Home’, which brings the serious dance beats back into the fold. But surely Murphy and LCD Soundsystem don’t need my endorsement. You know that this album is going to do amazingly well on the UK charts come May.

8.5/10

‘This is Happening’, the third official album by LCD Soundsystem, will be released on 17 May 2010 in the UK on EMI. The album can be streamed through their official Web site and can be ordered through iTunes here.

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[…] is Happening’ from LCD Soundsystem will be released in the UK on 17 May by EMI. Click here for TGTF’s review of the album. […]

[…] studio. Synths and electronic gizmos galore! Check out my review of ‘This is Happening’ here. The album will be released on 17 May 2010. /**/ Tags: LCDSoundsystem, video, votm […]

[…] the drumming is amazing on ‘One Touch’. If any of these tracks were destined for dancefloor greatness, I think this is it (after it’s been remixed and trimmed a bit). Or possibly I spoke too hastily: the understated but wickedly good groove of ‘You Wanted a Hit’ sounds guaranteed to get hipsters on the floor, booty shaking into the wee hours of the morning. Indeed, while listening to this album I got the distinct feeling that the best way to appreciate most of this music is by hearing it blasted out by an Ibizan DJ and being able to let your hair down with a sweaty dance crowd. And maybe after having one too many mojitos. — There Goes The Fear […]

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