Friday, March 09, 2007

LCD Soundsystem "Sound of Silver" (2007)

Two years after LCD Soundsystem's eponymous full-length debut sent indie scenesters rushing to the dancefloor, the outfit headed by dance-rock producer James Murphy serves up another stiff cocktail of punk, dance, and funk with Sound of Silver. Analog synths, chugging basslines, chunky guitars, and Murphy's wild falsetto excursions are once again the foundation to which is added the new and strange, such as the heavily chorused voices that suggest backward-masking in the opener "Get Innocuous" and the captivating harmonics keyboardist Nancy Whang bounces off of Murphy's vocals on "Someone Great." If this album has its own version of "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," it has to be "North American Scum," an infectious stormer that breezily dismisses Europe as a place where "the buildings are old and you might have lots of mimes." Such lines are good evidence that LCD's music would rather ridicule itself than fall into the kind of pretense and nostalgia it constantly lampoons. The album's title track reflects that hankering after one's teenage years is often interrupted when "you remember the feelings of a real live emotional teenager--then you think again," while the power ballad "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" wearily serenades the Big Apple as "still the one pool where I'd happily drown." True, LCD's music is not for everyone, which may have something to do with why their fans love them as they do. If you fall into the latter category, however, Silver is gold. [MySpace here].

The second album from New York uberproducer James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem project is every bit as smart, funky, and literate as its predecessor. Party-starting dance music indebted to the driving percussion of early-'80s New York acts like Liquid Liquid and ESG, the pneumatic thud of house music, and the arch, modernist pop of Brian Eno or David Bowie circa Heroes. If you don't know the reference points, it really doesn't matter: "Someone Great" is the sort of delightful, dazed disco to rank amongst Ladytron or Goldfrapp's best, surfing a six-minute wave of woozy keyboards, acid blips and tapped xylophone, while "Us Vs Them" is a combative punk-dance march built from aggressive cowbells and splinters of funk guitar. But the clued-in will get an additional kick, both from James Murphy's hipster humour ("Take me off your mailing list," he wheezes, on the weary "New York I Love You") and the myriad reference points wired into the machinery of each song: see the tongue-in-cheek 'North American Scum', the sound of Fatboy Slim's 'The Rockefeller Skank' rewired by industrial terrorists Throbbing Gristle. Making music 'intelligent' so often kills its rump-shaking appeal, but Sound Of Silver does its thinking on the dancefloor.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home