Return is noteworthy
Not long after 2010’s intensely groovy This Is Happening, it seemed LCD Soundsystem was saying goodbye for good. It didn’t go quietly either, with farewell concerts, tours, interviews and so on.
It was thus with a heavy heart, and seemingly a considerable amount of humility, that ringleader James Murphy announced he would be returning for another record.
Anyone frustrated at this backpedal is missing the point. When bands as good as LCD Soundsystem release albums this classy, who’s to complain?
American Dream opener Oh Baby is a swaggering, cigarette-stained, post-punk love letter in the style of the best work of Alan Vega from Suicide.
“Please baby please, my love waits patiently …” he croons below hypercolour, ocean-AEoor synths and tin rattle percussion.
On How Do You Sleep, Murphy bellows primitively across a large chasm while asteroid-sized bass rain down around him.
Murphy’s lyrics are as always on-point here and as excoriatingly and painfully honest as ever.
All Your Friends’ “Where are your friends tonight?” may have been overtaken by “You hate the idea that you’re wasting your youth, That you stood in the background oh until you got older,” on the rampaging, contagious disco of Tonite, as the harshest truth bomb he’s ever committed to disc.
Bangers are perhaps more thinly distributed here. There’s still danceAEoor killers. This shouldn’t bother many LCD fans. The beats have never been the most vital part of the story. And the hooks and arrangements here more than make up for it.
The band is as tight as ever. The rolling, ecstatic, Talking Heads-indebted jams bring as much party as ever.
They probably never should have left. It’s like they never did.