I get the impression that a few people were underwhelmed by this album, and how LCD Soundsystem dragged themselves out of retirement for it. To that I say – what the hell?!? This album’s fire! The awesome dance beats, a whole range of diverse tracks … why were people so underwhelmed?!?
Maaaaaybe it doesn’t quite live up to some of their earlier work, but I absolutely love this album. How would I rank these songs?
11 – emotional haircut
LCD Soundsystem are known for their simple, infectious dance beats, but “emotional haircut” just seems too one-note for my liking.
There are some fairly mundane guitar riffs and electronic beats, and none of it really comes together in a cohesive way. This is the only true dud on the record, and it’s the track I’m most likely to skip.
10 – pulse (v.1.)
Is this a bonus track, or some sort of addition to the deluxe edition? I’m not entirely sure myself, but I thought I’d include it anyway.
There are actually some pretty cool ideas in this one, but it gets old pretty quickly. Did this have to be 13 bloody minutes long?
9 – black screen
“black screen” and “pulse (v.1.)” are very similar in that they’re pretty good songs that go on for far too long, but this is lyrically more interesting than the other.
James Murphey (LCD Soundsystem’s frontman) ended up being fairly good friends with David Bowie, and his death hit Murphey hard. This track reflects this, and it’s a touching send-off to a musical icon.
8 – change yr mind
A lot of people are going to be put off by the screeching guitar riffs that sound off-key, but I think they add another dimension to an already decent track.
I love how oddly unsettling this track is, almost as if there’s a deep sense of regret within Murphey’s lyrics that no one is ever going to truly understand other than the man himself.
7 – i used to
“i used to” has some typically catchy riffs and a killer chorus, and it definitely makes for a welcome addition to the track list. It doesn’t bring the house down, but it’s worth a listen.
6 – how do you sleep?
This is not a song I was expecting at all – it’s slow and methodical, and at least for the first half it doesn’t sound like an LCD Soundsystem track at all. I guess I wasn’t really a fan at first, but now I can really appreciate it for what it is.
The first half has some killer build-up and teasing, before the song suddenly goes haywire for the final act. This is a 7-minute epic done right, so it’s a shame it actually runs for 9 minutes instead.
5 – other voices
This is one of the most quintessentially LCD Soundsystem tracks on the entire record, it really feels like it got pulled from the “Sound of Silver” sessions.
It also helps that it comes early in the album, just to remind the listener that this is a one of a kind band that isn’t declining any time soon.
4 – call the police
I remember when “american dream” was building up to the release, “call the police” was one of the tracks they led with. I wasn’t a fan at first, and was frustrated that they were playing tracks like this on SNL (for example) instead of some other candidates, but over time I’ve started to really love it for what it is.
A huge bass sound with an amazing tone is what keeps this track trucking along, and this is one of those songs that you can’t help but move to as a result.
3 – american dream
There’s a trio of truly exceptional tracks on this that I’d consider to be up there with the band’s best, which gives me all the more reason to think this album slaps.
First up we have the title track, a surprisingly powerful slow-jam that hits you right in the feels when the chorus synths start blaring. Murphey’s vocals are on fire here as well, which always helps.
2 – oh baby
The opening track on any album has to be a good one, something to hook the listener in and sell them on the premise of the album, and “oh baby” perfectly encapsulates the sounds and tones that LCD Soundsystem were going for on “american dream”.
That bassline has such an oomph and gravitas to it that you can’t help but get hooked, and Murphey’s soft, vulnerable vocals really sell it.
1 – tonite
I have absolutely no idea if other LCD Soundsystem fans love this track as I do, but “tonite” may just be in my top 5 favourite songs of theirs, and ever since I heard it I fell in love with the heavy riffs and snarky lyrics.
Maybe it’s not the most adventurous instrumentation ever, and maybe Murphey’s lyrics aren’t the best in his discography, but this track has a key factor that puts it up there with the band’s best – it’s incredibly danceable, which is all I can ask for from them.
Aaaaaaaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my other blog posts below:
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