Wow, now here’s a great album! And what a great comeback for LCD Soundsystem, who went on hiatus in April 2014!

There are lots of Bowie and Byrne influences all through the 4th album by James Murphy and his gang under the LCD Soundsystem name. It’s strong, straight to the point, with awesome elements carefully blended together… A masterpiece in many ways. On some songs, it’s pretty slim-down, with mostly synthesizers, simple beatbox and his voice (Oh Baby). It’s somehow different from their previous and successful work.

On other tracks like Other Voices, it’s a blend of Arcade Fire intensity and Talking Heads groove with a strong late 80s feel that gradually gets under your skin. The bass and guitar are more present, thickening LCD’s sound. On Change Your Mind, you can almost hear the ghost of the Thin White Duke of the “Lodger” or “Scary Monsters” era. Dark, cold, minimalist but yet powerful and hypnotic. Right after that track, Murphy’s singing is closer to David Byrne’s, with a little bit more of anxiety in this voice. But no, How Do You Sleep? is not a cover of John Lennon’s acid remarks to Paul, from their rivalry years after the Fab Four’s split.

Here are a few songs from the album.

 

Don’t we love it when a band takes its time to fully develop a great song into 6, 7 and even 8 minutes-long songs? How Do You Sleep? is the perfect example of this exercise. It never goes over the top, but there is a carefully crafted crescendo throughout the song that keeps it interesting. No dumb predictable repetition either.

Murphy shares his anxiety on many songs with a singing style that keeps the listener on the edge, but it never gets tough to handle, à la NIN. The efficient rock feel brought in with songs like Call the Police make LCD sound a bit like Spoon.

It gets pretty obvious that “American Dream” will be high on my (and probably other music journalists) best of 2017 year-end lists. The type of album – rarer, it seems – that strikes as great the first time and just gets greater with every listening session.

LCD Soundsystem will play in Montreal on December 2nd, 2017 at the brand new Place Bell in Laval, and in Toronto the next day. Get your tickets here!

LCD_Soundsystem_-_American_Dream album

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
American Dream
(DFA / Columbia, 2017)

– Genre: synth-full indie rock
– In the same style as Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, Spoon

Buy the album on Google Play
Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on the band’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.