Sunday, April 08, 2007

Album Review: LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver

Many will remember LCD Soundsystem for giving us the anthemic ‘Daft Punk is playing at my house’ a couple of years ago. If you ended up buying that eponymous album, it seemed like that was unfortunately one of the few highlights present.

Thankfully, James Murphy has rectified that by releasing a follow-up that is so strong, and so well put-together that I will be quite surprised if it doesn’t feature in many critics’ top lists of 2007. Album-opener ‘Get Innocuous’ kicks off the affair sounding a lot like James Murphy’s other main pseudonym/project, DFA; with lots of processed beats and repeated synth loops. But what makes Sound Of Silver so wonderful is that it really traverses a wide range of styles – it’s clear that Murphy is, in a sense, creating a mosaic of many of his favourite styles of music. If you played someone the first track, followed by the final track ‘New York I Love You But…’, they’d think you were playing two completely different artists.

It’s this chameleon-like quality of the album that makes it so enjoyable to listen to, and yet at the same time it is completely cohesive in its entirety. Elsewhere on the album, Murphy engages in a bit of political commentary on ‘North American Scum’, and writes slightly melancholic lyrics on ‘All My Friends’. The peak of the album is, appropriately, right in the centre, with ‘All My Friends’ and ‘Us Vs. Them’ both long sprawling tracks (each clocking in at over 7 minutes), that start off with minimal beginnings and gradually build and build until you realise that you’re nodding your head to the churning, swirling beats that are coming out of those headphones. Highly recommended.

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