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April 23, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver

The first time I heard the trademark DFA ‘sound’ was on The Rapture’s cowbell clunking ubersingle, ‘House of Jealous Lovers’. I was blown away. Their landmark LP Echoes suffered from a little bit of inconsistency, but at the time I hadn’t heard anything else like it. When the Rapture split for the majors DFA head-honcho James Murphy took it upon himself to carry the banner of the sound Pitchforkmedia dubbed “dance/punk.”

The vehicle Murphy settled upon, LCD Soundsystem, released its self titled debut last year, and it proved to be one of the highlights of 2006.

Perhaps the only area where the S/T release fell down was in its lack of overall cohesiveness, with Murphy employing a wide range of moods and production values that prevented the release from ever sounding like a fully thought out album. He has gone some way towards rectifying that issue on the sophomore Sound of Silver. The biggest change has been in the song writing itself, as Murphy slips in a degree of sentimentalism and introspection that was almost non-existent previously.

The album’s centerpiece is the six minute track, ‘Someone Great’, which has some genuinely tender lyrics and a simple but highly effective arrangement that highlights Murphy’s talents as a producer. His vocal range has expanded also, with the title track and ‘Get Innocuous’ demonstrating a slightly processed, deeper tone that prevents his vocals from getting too one dimensional.

Sadly, Silver doesn’t quite fulfill all that it promises.

The single, ‘North American Scum’, is perhaps the most ill-conceived song Murphy has ever written. Still, with Silver, Murphy continues to show that when he is “on” his work continues to set the standard for this burgeoning movement. But perhaps a certain Wellington group’s upcoming LP will change all that.


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