Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Saturday, April 21, 2007 

Before it's release even, this album was being touted as the pinnacle of whatever this punk/funk-indie/electro phase popular music seems to be going through now is. The chart-troubling face of New York cool, James Murphy AKA LCD Soundsystem, is a dance music producer who insists on using 'real' instruments and is likely still best known for the OC-featured Daft Punk Is Playing At My House, a track which injected a bit of po-faced jollity to the normally Greenlandic levels of coolness that typify this echelon of music. The Sound Of Silver features that coolness (Us And Them), that humour (single North American Scum and wistfully odd closer New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down), and, most importantly, a near perfect balance of song-writing nous and clinical beats (All My Friends, Get Innocuous). All My Friends in particular is part Phillip Glass, part New Order and surprisingly moving for someone who until now, you could confidently rely on to simply be ironic, irresistably bang a cowbell over squelchy beats and get a big remixing cheque.

The well-written songs of the the 80s and 90s (e.g, those by New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Massive Attack, EBTG, Bjork etc.) that just happen to have killer beats, great production and imprint a personality over technical precision are the ones that tend to age better than the "gonna make you sweat" school of anonymous girl wailing over European techno-boffin, and LCD Soundsystem is well in the former league. Those into The Rapture, !!! and anything else that has passed through Murphy's DFA label (i.e: anyone who's enjoyed dancing in the last 5 years to anything not retro or trance) can confidently get this record knowing it to be a cost-effective heating alternative this winter: not dancing is not an option. To be fair though, there is a slight lack of variation with sounds used and Murphy's voice is more white-Prince/American Mark E Smith street-cool than musical, though this does make you focus on the lyrics and rhythms more, which, thanks to his Hannett-like urbane production, is a very good thing. Perfectly named and perfectly timed, The Sound Of Silver is likely to be getting a flogging on certain yoof networks and deservedly so.

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