LCD Soundsystem CD review [DFA]

Music Reviews
LCD Soundsystem CD review [DFA]
Jun 14, 2005, 13:51


LCD Soundsystem CD

Confession time for me, I'd never heard of LCD or James Murphy, or the DFA label before I followed up on a recommendation to get this. Now, I love good techno and dance music, but usually while dancing at a club, not really to listen at home as background music, so I wasn't expecting much. I didn't know Murphy had released several singles with his dance project LCD Soundsystem like “Losing My Edge” or “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” starting in 2002 or that he was an in-demand producer for various dance/funk/protopunk outfits. Yeah, I'm late to the party, but that's okay if that means I avoided that “got here early, I know nobody, awkward conversation by the cheetos” phase and get to jump straight into “our mutual friend Bombay Sapphire introduced us, we've been friends for hours, let me hump your leg” part. LCD Soundsystem delivers a two disc set, with the first CD a full length album of new material and the second containing singles released between 2002 and 2005 including “Losing My Edge” and “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” for the terminally unhip like me that missed them the first time around.

God, this CD rocks!! for a dance disc. The combination of dance grooves, guitar wails, and self-deprecating sarcastic humor is delicious and addictive. All the best in gradually expansive tension and release that defines great grooves is here without the boring repeats that I hate about the most stultifying techno. The new stuff opens with the funk/punk of “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” about an Average Joe hosting an impossibly awesome party. The electronica Star Trek chirps, tick-tock rhythms and guitar wails of cuts like “Too Much Love” “On Repeat,” and “Movement” all include little vocal and rhythm tributes from the Manchester sound to The Fall. The standout singles are “Tribulations,” a fabulously addictive electronica piece possibly describing a very frustrating relationship and the slow and dreamy “Never As Tired as When I'm Waking Up,” a perfect blend of John Lennon's White Album gems “I'm So Tired” and “Dear Prudence.” My main quibble is that the latter and floaty, faraway sounding “Great Release” are great dream pop but seem out of place and in danger of being glossed over by folks just seeking out the dance beats.

Murphy and the incredibly tight LCD Soundsystem are dance puppet masters, throwing homage grooves to keep jerking your body and “shake the waist” while Murphy's deadpan, self-deprecating, stuffy nose delivery of his lyrics over it all to reassure us to keep dancing, don't worry, it's cool.

While LCD Soundsystem on CD would be the perfect DJ cuts to play in a club, I feared that seeing them live could be a disappointment. I mean it's electronica… jeez what would be the difference between watching a guy jabbing at a synthesizer and mouthing his lyrics versus watching a DJ bent over a turntable? This was not the case at the May 2005 show in Chicago I caught. Murphy and the band started us with the mechanical electronic funk beats of “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” and had us by the hair as they ratcheted up the rhythmic intensity until the crowd was rendered into a soapy, dancing froth with “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” [DFA/EMI]

-Liz Suarez

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