LCD Soundsystem

This Is Happening (DFA/EMI)


Rating: NNNNN


Don’t be fooled by lead single Drunk Girls. The short, bouncy romp (best described as a cross between Blur’s Girls & Boys and the Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat) is fun enough but easily the worst song of the bunch, and completely unrepresentative of the rest of the album. As James Murphy croons on You Wanted A Hit, “We don’t do hits,” and we’ve got no problem with that, especially when he’s come up with an album this strong.

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If their self-titled debut was the equivalent of the Beatles’ Please Please Me, and Sound Of Silver their Revolver, This Is Happening is LCD’s Sgt. Pepper. Murphy is still a brat, but this is a more emotionally mature and personal album than most of us thought him capable of. Some might complain that his habit of quoting musical signposts is verging on plagiarism, but they’re missing the point. It’s more a form of music shorthand, allowing him write an album of seven-minute one-chord songs that never devolves into empty noodling.

If this is the final LCD Soundsystem album (as Murphy claims), they’ve sure gone out on a high note.

Top track: Dance Yrself Clean

LCD Soundsystem play Kool Haus May 25.

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