It seems crazy to me that LCD Soundsystem, one of my favourite bands ever, have only released four studio albums – it feels like they’ve been around forever, and their music has never gotten stale to me despite their limited discography.
Hopefully they release another one soon – I’m dying for some more of that electronic dance goodness. In the meantime, how would I rank their four excellent studio albums?
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4 – LCD Soundsystem (their self-titled debut)
- Best Track – Losing My Edge
- Worst Track – Thrills
- Underrated Gem – Never as Tired as When I’m Waking Up
While their debut is still lots of fun, with some cracking tunes here and there, it pales in comparison to their later work – they were just finding their sound, though, so I’ll let it slide.
There are some proper bangers, like “Losing My Edge” and “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House”, but also some unnecessary filler like “Thrills” and “Tired”, so overall quite a mixed bag – a helluva fun mixed bag to listen to, though.
My pick for underrated gem would be “Never as Tired as When I’m Waking Up”, a soulful ballad filled with sheer emotion and raw lyrics – the guitar work near the end is pretty neat too.
3 – american dream
- Best Track – tonite
- Worst Track – emotional haircut
- Underrated Gem – how do you sleep?
It may seem like an egregious case of recency bias to put their most recent album over their ground-breaking debut, I think “american dream” is far more consistent across the board.
There are so many great tracks, like the thumping “call the police” or the beautiful title track, but my pick of the bunch would be the disco infusion “tonite” for its great lyrics and danceable beats.
Even though a lot of the songs range from good to great, none of them really reach the upper echelons of what the band can do. There are also a couple of songs I’m not 100% on, like “black screen” and “emotional haircut” – the latter of which is the worst track on the album by far.
The most underrated song has to be “how do you sleep?” for its hard-hitting lyrics and insane beat drop – the length might put people off of listening to it, but it’s worth it.
2 – This Is Happening
- Best Track – Dance Yrself Clean
- Worst Track – Somebody’s Calling Me
- Underrated Gem – You Wanted A Hit
Originally their last album before they announced their surprise comeback in 2017, LCD Soundsystem couldn’t have really crafted a better send-off to their original run.
“Dance Yrself Clean” is one of my favourite opening tracks of all time, and it’s my favourite LCD Soundsystem song for it’s godly drop and synth work. It’s a long one, but time goes by so quickly every time I listen to it.
Other great tracks include the anthemic “I Can Change”, the bombastic “Drunk Girls”, and the climactic “Home”. My pick for underrated gem would be “You Wanted A Hit” for its funny lyrics and great percussion work.
It’s not a perfect album, though, and a couple of lacklustre songs near the end slow the pace down to a grinding halt. “Pow Pow” and “Somebody’s Calling Me” are two of my least favourite LCD Soundsystem songs, and the album would have been perfect without them.
1 – Sound of Silver
- Best Track – All My Friends
- Worst Track – Watch the Tapes
- Underrated Gem – Time to Get Away
A band’s second album can be a daunting prospect – everyone fully expects them to surpass whatever bar they set in their debut, but at the same time the pressure has never been higher. Luckily, LCD Soundsystem knocked their sophomore effort out of the park and then some.
Other than “Watch the Tapes”, every song here is excellent and among their best ever work. I would be here all day if I talked about all of them, so I’ll quickly highlight two: “Time to Get Away” is pretty underrated and catchy, and “Someone Great” was so close to being my favourite for its emotional lyrics.
To nobody’s surprise, “All My Friends” is my pick for best song on the album. It’s arguably the song that came to define the band, even more so than “Dance Yrself Clean”, and it was the first song to get me into LCD Soundsystem many years ago. It’s catchy as hell, it has some of James Murphey’s best lyrics to date, and it’ll go down as one of the most anthemic tunes in music history.
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