Spun: LCD Soundsystem

By Garth Paulson

This Is Happening… Three minutes into the album, listeners may wonder what exactly is happening, if anything. Then, at 3:08 into “Dance Yrself Clean,” it starts — frenetic synth loops and beats, rich layering, havoc being wreaked upon a dancefloor somewhere.

There is something else happening here though — James Murphy actually sounds pissed off. There is no song that mirrors their second album Sound of Silver’s “Someone Great.” Any hope is replaced with hints that maybe all of his friends aren’t what he thought they were. On the first track, “Dance Yrself Clean,” Murphy sings, “Talking like a jerk / Except you are an actual jerk / And living proof that sometimes friends are mean.” On “All I Want,” Murphy laments, “All I want is your pity / Oh all I want is your bitter tears.” He is clearly tormented by something this time around, despite the critical and commercial success of his first two albums.

Sonically, we’re treated to artful blending of almost forty years of electronica, disco, funk, rock and pop. In “I Can Change,” we’re served trademark ’80s keyboards, soulful falsettos and the quirky synth sounds of Kraftwerk or The Art of Noise. The last track, “Home,” is infused with ’70s disco and funk, along with proof of Murphy’s vocal talent in a sweeter melody and a few gorgeous harmonized chords.

In short, there’s more happening here than on the first two LCD Soundsystem albums. It further establishes Murphy’s unique ability to combine elements from several genres and decades into something you can shake your booty to or listen to with headphones at home.

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