LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening (DFA) 17/05/2010

May 24, 2010 by  

From the teaser videos released on the band’s website, to the scramble for the first tracks to make it onto the blog rounds, the hype surrounding LCD Soundsystem’s third and supposedly final LP, ‘This Is Happening’, has been huge.

Now we’ve got the real deal in our grubby little paws, it’s time to see if the pudding has proof – Hell yes, it has.

Opener ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ sets the scene brilliantly starting slowly with light percussion and unpolished vocals. It plods, teases and tinkers before dropping some huge bass heavy keys that are gonna send dance floors flippin’ crazy. After such a strong opening it’s a shame the next two tracks are a bit weak. The album’s first single ‘Drunk Girls’ is a party anthem, which keeps the pace frantic and fun, but will probably fare better in a live setting. Anyway, onward and upward.

Setting out with a swirling fuzzy guitar ‘All I Want’ takes things down a notch brilliantly. Reflective vocals (“All I want is your pity, all I want is your bitter tears”) and melodic synths are added to give the track layers that beautifully complement each other. Then things take a sinister turn as the synth builds into a cacophony of bleeps and blips as the song spins out of control and Murphy’s just left screaming to be ‘taken home’.

‘I Can Change’ is a little more playful with its spacey keys, but keeps things sentimental for the moment. It’s not until the shimmering intro of ‘You Wanted a Hit’ fades away and the drums kick in that things seem like they’re about to wind up again for the finale.

‘Pow Pow’ is classic LCD Soundsystem equipped with chatty vocals over a steady bongo beat and a punchy repetitive ‘chorus’. Murphy explores themes of duality and balance, with a charming hesitancy (“From this position, I feel affinity for the both of them, which is confusing”). It makes for an intriguing and loveable listen.

The final track, ‘Home’, is just a pleasure. The lyrics are inviting (“Under lights, we’re all unsure, so tell me, what would make you feel better?”), the vocals are soft, and the guitar and keys jangle along cooperatively. It’s a lovely way to finish things up.

As with the first two LCD records, ‘This Is Happening’ is a grower and it’s still having its wicked way with me. One thing is for sure, taking a record like this on the road is going to make for a damn fun summer. Get yourself along to a show or three and dance yrself silly.

by Sam Jones-Parry

Rating: ★★★★☆

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