Monday, April 14, 2008

LCD Soundsystem


It's always bad form to begin a review with a conditional- listen to me, because I almost fell into this trap myself- but despite the circles they may run in and the labelmates they rub shoulders with it is completely essential that you not lump in James Murphy (DFA Records head) and his LCD Soundsystem with all of that cocaine, hipster, Last Nights Party, MSTRKRFT, dilated pupils boho bullshit that trails them like an unfortunate cloud of locusts. LCD/Murphy always seemed to have his heart and aesthetics in the right place, tirelessly honing LCD Soundsystem into a heartfelt homage to the likes of the Happy Mondays, Chic and Can. All at the same time, no less. But this album presents me with quite a problem. A big fucking problem. On the one hand, "45:33" is a wide-eyed, open-mouthed leftfield disco/house masterpiece, paying tribute to the likes of Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Baker while having all manner of primitive Kraftwerk robotic frugging to keep the weirdness intact - now that's a megamix. It was envisioined to be one long album length piece composed of four distinct movements. On the other fucking hand, this was commissioned by the hated iTunes and the even more hated Nike to be workout music so the entire disc can fuck off and die for all I care. And yet... the second movement is a sweetly melancholic piece of male-diva house with ringing piano chords, spry basslines and four-to-the-floor drums spurring on Murphy's hoarse, ecstatic vocals, "You can't hide... your love away from me! Hey!" and when that morphs into the autobahn racing electro naivete drone of the third movement with all manner of one-finger synth call and response. Argh, why can't you just let me hate you and be done with it! Followed up with a clutch of mutated proggy dance minuets, I'm still faced with the issue that whatever track on the album I end up liking, it's eventually going to be the soundtrack for some commerical with a dick on a treadmill sporting a lime green ipod. That, I can't quite reconcile. If you can, you're more than welcome to this record.

- Matthew Moyer

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