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    LCD Soundsystem

    LCD Soundsystem ( 2005 )
    Daft Punk Is Playing At My House / Too Much Love / Tribulations / Movement / Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up / On Repeat / Thrills / Disco Infilatrator / Great Release

    Not many artists have ever admitted to being influenced by the drunken dour northern punk sound of Mark E Smith and The Fall. This has always been a big bug-bear of Mark E Smith's. So, it was refreshing for me as a huge fan of The Fall to read an interview with the head honcho behind this LCD Soundsystem project and to find him make no bones about his growing up in NYC and his being a huge fan of The Fall. And, apart from the techno and the electroclash, there are obviously slabs of punk Fall influence present on this debut set as well. Happily so as far as i'm concerned. We'll take a few tracks for a start to give you some idea. Well, the couple of more obviously Fall influenced tracks, at least. 'Movement' starts with a pumping techno beat before the vocals enter just ten seconds or so into the track. The singer starts to slightly mumble his words. The 'uh' thing that Mark E Smith does? That 'uh' closes every other line the singer vocalises. Plus, after around a minute and a half the whole song just deliriously explodes into the most joyous guitar sound. The singer keeps going, more guitar enters, clearly 'punk' guitar. Punk guitar taken from The Fall, rather than The Ramones. Plus, a wall of noise, a wall always clearly tied to the songs main melodic thread. It's noisy, but it ain't no mess! 'On Repeat' lasts for eight minutes and is based upon, strangely enough, repetition. Ah, repetition!! Still, we have variety here. Stellar album opener 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House' mixes disco, dance, techno and rock. 'Disco Infilatrator' vaguely sounds like the kind of happy crossover track that 'Electric Six' produced in 2004 with several of their hit singles. It works!

    And, such variety continues. The deliriously floaty and psychedelic delight of 'Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up' The closing more minimalist 'Great Release'. The more clearly dance/techno influenced 'Thrills'. The bouncy 'Electroclash' pop of 'Too Much Love'. I've just realised i've picked out almost the entire album as a highlight worthy of mentioning. Well, I make no apologies for doing that. This is a debut set that's just so much fun to listen to in an age full of music that seems to be taking itself too seriously. Even the forgettable chart fodder that's played on the radio? Those artists who aren't really artists really do take themselves overly seriously. Actually, I have no idea if LCD Soundsystem take themselves seriously or not. I just get the impression from listening to this album that, more than likely, they really don't.

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    Taylor OnionsAreTragic@msn.com
    Didn't it come packaged with a bonus CD containing all the singles in the UK? It's amazing! Atleast as strong as the actual album, maybe stronger! Hunt it down and get it... it's so good. Losing My Edge is probably the best anti-scenester song I've ever heard. Maybe the only... GET IT.

    porcupine cupidandpsyche85@hotmail.com
    This is a really good album, but the bonus disc is even better! 'Losing My Edge' is hilarious and supercatchy, and 'Beat Connection' is impossible not to move to. On the album proper, you can't beat 'Tribulations'. This has got to be a single in the future, it's just begging for an extended mix on the 12". Great debut.

    Thom thomboard@btinternet.com
    OK, so I read your review and then bought the album. It's awesome and has stopped me listening to the Yes 'Fragile' album for almost two days! Please can you suggest how to get it off my CD player!

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    Sound Of Silver 8 ( 2007 )
    Get Innocuous / Time To Get Away / North American Scum / Someone Great / All My Friends / Us v Them / Watch The Tapes / Sound Of Silver / New York I Love You

    Do dance acts ever truly evolve? Orbital made fine attempts at evolution but went past the point of being any fun anymore, so later albums were less than earlier albums even if technically they appeared to be more technically gifted affairs. There is a certain time when any kind of act goes past the point technically that they should. Early fumblings towards greatness can acidentally provide greatess. Not knowing exactly what you are doing can be a great provider of creativity. Knowing exactly what you are doing and being a master of your craft provides Eric Clapton, knowing but extremely dull. From the sounds of this release, LCD Soundsystem are still happily fumbling in the darkness in search of what they are looking for. Although inconsistent, 'Sound Of Silver' does indeed provide us with a couple of apparently lucky moments of greatness. On top of this James Murphy provides us with more flashes of 1980's Manchester, the New Order theatrics of 'All My Friends' and the circa 1992 fall-esque 'Watch The Tapes'. Oh and David Bowie. Someone else made the comparison, but the way the vocals and beats are presented on 'Get Innocuous' do remind of David Bowie immediately post Tin Machine when he was trying to be all trendy and re-establish himself. Despite some solid if dated sounding beats, it's not half the opening to an album 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House' was. 'Time To Get Away' is much better, that squeaky squelchy LCD Soundsystem vocal/beats approach getting right back into the action. After the rather too attention seeking 'North American Scum', we reach the real emotional heart of the album, though. 'Someone Great' and 'All My Friends' are both superb and prove once and for all, as if proof was even needed, that dance music can be as emotional as the best of them.

    'Someone Great' begins all Kraftwerk, always a reference point with this type of music. Passing through the new romantic scene and ending up sounding like The Beloved, an act with a brief career circa 1990, but combining intelligent dance music with an apparent hippy idea of love in its purest form. 'All My Friends' meanwhile is supremely emotional and sounds like the best and most exhilarating track New Order never made in 1982. Warm nostalgia and exhilarating beats with lyrics drawing you back to events both real to yourself and imagined in American comedy shows. Family values, being young, having fun. It's a stupendous track and easily the best thing here. Apart from the stellar 'Watch The Tapes', little else here matches upto the better moments from the debut. LCD Soundsystem have yet to evolve and i'd rate 'Sound Of Silver' a shade behind their debut in terms of fun. They can still produce here and there, but next time out we need to know what they've learned before it's too late and no longer fun. Do not pass go, proceed straight to dance-hell. Thankfully we're not at that stage yet and fans of the debut can easily apply and enjoy this little modest gem.

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    Nick erfinagerfin@hotmail.com
    This is my vote for album of the year. I wouldn't call it inconsistant...every song is at least good, and some of it (tracks 3-6) is just amazing. I'd call it a pretty big leap forward from the debut, LCD coming into their own.

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    This Is Happening 6 ( 2010 )
    Dance Yrself Clean / Drunk Girls / One Touch / All I Want / I Can Change / You Wanted a Hit / Pow Pow / Somebody's Calling Me / Home

    James Murphy has run out of steam. Well, obviously it's very easy to say that knowing this is going to be the last LCD Soundsystem album. I'll be honest, I hated 'Drunk Girls' which still sounds far too obvious, one last throw of the dice at getting a hit single? The opening 'Dance Yrself Clean' is James Murphy not running out of steam as much as running out of sanity. This is an intriguing nine minute tune which moves in several directions, with pained vocals, eighties beeps and an almost masocistic feel overall. It's the morning after and you can't quite settle down so try and keep the party flowing, with disastrous results. I like this tune, opening up the album (which many have hoped would be even bigger than 'Sound Of Silver') with a nod towards commercial suicide? I like it. Naturally, 'Drunk Girls' counteracts this although doesn't stand up well seperated from the rest of 'This Is Happening'. 'Drunk Girls' is merely the light relief, you see. 'One Touch' and 'All I Want' are both, in varying degrees, David Bowie tributes/rip-offs. delete as applicable. Well, LCD Soundsystem have always done these kind of borrowings in the past and we haven't minded them, have we? We don't really mind now, 'One Touch' continues the claustrophobic confusion of the opening track whilst 'All I Want' borrows directly from Bowie's 'Heroes'. It's a very well produced track actually, so credit to the group and James Murphy for this one.

    'Home' is eight minutes of that LCD Soundsystem magic, a magic that occurs only once or twice during 'This Is Happening' and that's during the first and last songs. Too often the other tunes feel like off-cuts or half-cuts or b-sides or.... you get the general idea. This is 60 minutes of music, much of the music press have fallen over themselves to praise, yet I don't feel that impulse myself. Yes, there are moments here but when James Murphy 'danced-up' The Fall or New Order or even managed to find his own magic during the previous albums, you could suspend your disbelief. Like all of the best music, LCD Soundsystem could transport you to another place. They may well be aiming for the same this time around, yet the difference is night and day. The 'place' this time around is a dingy holiday resort off Brighton rather than the sun and sand of Rio.

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    Readers Comments

    Taylor OnionsAreTragic@msn.com
    Didn't it come packaged with a bonus CD containing all the singles in the UK? It's amazing! Atleast as strong as the actual album, maybe stronger! Hunt it down and get it... it's so good. Losing My Edge is probably the best anti-scenester song I've ever heard. Maybe the only... GET IT.

    Liam United Kingdom
    Thought it was just me. Everything sounds so derivative, of rock history and the band's own previous work... The entire hook of "I Can Change" seems to repeat ad nauseam a 10 second stretch of "Someone Great" from their last album. Disappointing.

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    this page last updated 19/09/10



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