LCD Soundsystem Release Long-Awaited Comeback Album ‘American Dream’
Over the past two years, LCD Soundsystem have been touring relentlessly as a band reunited. This, after distraught fans thought they would never see the gang back together following their “final” performance on April 2, 2011. This welcome-back tour is now punctuated by the painfully-long-awaited new album “American Dream.” The James Murphy-led group of electronic enthusiasts have used this comeback as a chance to put out arguably their best record to date. While some bands look towards new directions, LCD has honed in on their signature sound, perfected it, then made it even better. With an unprecedented level of sonic synchronicity, they’re challenging the music industry norms by simply getting better with age.
Each member of LCD brings an equal amount of value to “American Dream.” Synthesizer savant Nancy Whang, for instance, takes the mic mid-song on “Other Voices” lending to the seemingly nonsensical, albeit somehow brilliant, stream of consciousness ramblings from Murphy. This is true LCD fashion though; when the lyrics make no sense, they tend to invite all sorts of speculation, meaningful or otherwise. The last line of the song reads “You should be uncomfortable,” perhaps a nod to David Bowie who told Murphy, in reference to the band’s reunion, that it’s good to be uncomfortable. Though if there’s one thing this album does, it’s making fans as comfortable as possible. Fans that were perhaps nervous that LCD may have changed over the course of their hiatus. Songs like the single “Tonite,” however, have settled any and all fears as retro LCD comes to play on this tune. Repetitive beats, vocoder vocals and tons and tons of lyrics from Murphy. So many, in fact, that when the sound cuts off at the end, you can vaguely make out him saying to the booth “It’s gonna have to be good enough, I can’t do this anymore, my brain won’t work.”
A bossa nova beat leads off the gorgeous single “Call the Police.” As they’re wont to do, this track features minimal chord changes, highlighted by Murphy’s quippy lyrics like “Wear your makeup like a man” and “We all get stupid in the heat.” The title track features equally witty one-liners such as “You took acid and looked in the mirror / Watched the beard crawl around your face.” Here, though, Murphy takes a storyteller’s approach, appearing to tell the tale of an aging man meditating on questionable life choices like one-night-stands. “It’s a drug of the heart and you can’t stop shaking,” he hums, “’Cause the body wants what it’s terrible at taking.”
LCD Soundsystem are a true band’s band. They play insider music. They have songs about songs, lyrics about music. One of their biggest hit to date, “Daft Punk is Playing at My House,” speaks directly to this point. Die-hard music fans, the ones that set aside a portion of their monthly income for tickets to see live music, the ones that read articles like this one, appreciate LCD for their ability to be meta, all the while playing the best damn electronic music, consistently, for over a decade. For any proof that this band is truly an unstoppable force of audio gratification, one need look no further than their upcoming ten-night, sold-out run at the newly opened Brooklyn Steel in their hometown of New York leading up to Christmas. LCD is back and better than they’ve ever been, and their fans are thankful.