LCD Soundsystem: American Dream

- Six years ago, in 2011 when LCD Soundsystem played their very last show at Madison Square Garden fans, critics and Daft Punk / house party enthusiasts alike took down their disco balls, lit a candle and put LCD and frontman James Murphy to bed. Now in 2017 LCD Soundsystem has released their fourth studio record american dream. 

The opening track oh baby sprawls, spacious and removed from LCD’s archetypical twitchy, fervid synth driven punk-madness, the cut simmers. Murphy’s melancholy vocals fill the track, propelled by airy synth and heady percussion.
Playfully poking fun at his ageing rock star status, Murphy opens i used to with lyrics ‘I used to dance alone of my own volition / I used to wait all night for the rock transmissions’ A standout track on american dream featuring a grounding, ringing guitar outro, the cut drives with metronomic, pacing synth and a commanding bass line which dares you not to shake it, aggressively. 

Murphy’s influences bookmark the record; The Cure popping up on title track american dream - oscillating synth and sparkling chimes spelling out a beautiful, languid gothic dirge reminiscent of 1989’s PlainsongDavid Bowie makes an appearance, too on final track black screen, a song brimming regret and mourning, it closes with shining keys ringing over a racing heartbeat of synth, fading out to nothing. A fitting tribute; Bowie being catalytic in the reformation of the band back in 2015 before his untimely death.

For a record that is so quintessentially Murphy, it doesn't feel tired or overdone. LCD Soundsystem has once again capitalised on the sonic elements that make his music so captivating - gritty, wonky, synth, pulsing percussive components and Murphy’s signature sing-yell. While he’s not genre defining or pushing any new boundaries (see: 2007’s All My Friends) we’ve circled back to the sweet spot that started the love affair over a decade ago. But more than that, it’s what Bowie wanted.

- Fiona Priddey.

 

Album Details

Album Title: American Dream
Artist: LCD Soundsystem
Record Label: (Columbia / Sony)