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Sep 02 2017

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

LCD Soundsystem (jambase.com)

LCD Soundsystem

Albumdata

Artist LCD Soundsystem
Album American Dream
Year of release 2017

Rating

Introduction

On September 1st LCD Soundsystem released their fifth (studio) album American Dream. The band has returned after a 6 year period. How does the new album relate to the previous, perfect, works?

LCD Soundsystem until now

LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge (txcreativep1.wordpress.com)

LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge

One day after the release of the debutalbum (on January 24th, 2005) I bought the debutalbum. I’m not entirely sure, but I probably bought the album because of Losing My Edge. I liked the song immensely and thought it was pretty funny. The lyrics are about the fact that, at a certain point in time, you start to fall behind on all the current hypes, musically speaking. The song also showed the encyclopedic knowledge of and love for music by bandleader, singer and songwriter James Murphy.

LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (2005), Sound Of Silver (2007), 45:33 (2007), This Is Happening (2010) & The London Sessions (2010) (dfarecords.com)

LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (2005), Sound Of Silver (2007), 45:33 (2007), This Is Happening (2010) & The London Sessions (2010)

I bought all the albums after the first one: Sound Of Silver, 45:33, This Is Happening and The London Sessions. The last one ranks number 3 in my album top 50, so I would be understating it, saying I like the band. I loved the music, the band, their live shows and their mix of dance, rock, punk and pop. Past tense, indeed, for on April 2nd, 2011, LCD Soundsystem bid their farewell. At the height of their ‘fame’, LCD Soundsystem was laid to rest during a four hour show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. After 9 great years it was all over.

The DVD/Blu-ray and the vinyl release of their goodbye show (called Shut Up And Play The Hits and The Long Goodbye, respectively) was all that followed.

LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends - Videostills (paulgormanis.com)

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends – Videostills

All My Friends

A special shout-out must be made to All My Friends, one of the greatest songs ever made. The goto song for the first decade of the 21st century. A driving, moving, swinging, beautiful song. Listen and shiver!

James Murphy

LCD Soundsystem - James Murphy (thewire.co.uk)

LCD Soundsystem – James Murphy

In the meantime I still followed the band using lcdsoundsystem.com. Texts were posted on a regular basis, and it was a great way of keeping up with the whereabouts of the band members. Many DJ sets, but also a lot of productionwork. James Murphy started working with David Bowie. Bowie asked him as a co-producer for, what was to become his last album, Blackstar. Murphy didn’t consider himself worthy enough and refused (he did play percussion on the album). He produced Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, developed the soundsystem Despacio with Soulwax and opened a winebar.

DFA Records Logo (lcdsoundsystem.com)

DFA Records Logo

Meanwhile he kept DFA Records afloat. DFA Records is an independent record label, recording studio and (name for a) productionteam. All LCD Soundsystem music stems from DFA Records. Contracts with the great recordcompanies (like EMI and, for the new record, Columbia) are closed for distribution.

Christmas Will Break Your Heart

Despite the fact that I followed LCD Soundsystem, I was pleasantly surprised on First Christmas Day of 2015 with the release of a new LCD Soundsystem song: Christmas Will Break Your Heart:

LCD Soundsystem - Christmas Will Break Your Heart (tomorrowsverse.com)

LCD Soundsystem – Christmas Will Break Your Heart

so, there’s been this depressing christmas song i’d been singing to myself for the past 8 years, and every year i wouldn’t remember that i wanted to make it until december, which is just too late to actually record and release a christmas song… but this year, al doyle had a short break between hot chip tours where he could be in nyc, and pat and nancy were home, and tyler agreed to fly out from berlin for a few days, so we all recorded this together, reserved a pressing plant slot, and our friend bob weston was available to master it quickly—so that means, less than 2 weeks after we recorded it, there is actually a christmas 7″, which feels like something that could only have happened a very, very long time ago.
anyway, for the holidays we give you the previous, very long run-on sentence, and this song: “christmas will break your heart”, which is another one of those songs which had about 75 lines of lyrics, though we’ve knocked down to 8 to keep the suicide rate in check.
have fun!

james murphy, 25-12-2015

Reunion

Could it be true after all? There had been rumours in 2015, but they were denied.
On January 4th, 2016, confirmation came for what I was hoping for: LCD Soundsystem was scheduled for a performance on the American Coachella Festival. A day after that it was officially announced that a new album would be released in 2016. Another day later, James Murphy wrote a letter to all the fans, music-lovers and critics, explaining why he reconsidered his decision of disbanding LCD Soundsystem and why he wanted to make music again using that moniker.

More festivals followed, a contract with Columbia Records was closed. In August 2016 the band cancelled some shows to work on the new album. However, it was carefully made public that a 2016 release might not be possible.

LCD Soundsystem - Call The Police & American Dream (lcdsoundsystem.com)

LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police & American Dream

New songs

LCD Soundsystem played their first 2017 show on April 6th. During the first encore three new songs were played. Three songs off the new album: Tonite, Call The Police and American Dream, a few days later followed by another new song: Emotional Haircut. On May 4th James Murphy posted a message, which was about the new album and contained the announcement that on May 5th two songs would be released: Call The Police and American Dream. On May 6th both songs were played live during a broadcast of the television show Saturday Night Live.

The album is done

On May 30th of this year James Murphy announced that the album was finished:

hello humans. this is just a note to say that we’re done with the record. like, totally done with the music and mixing. just some art stuff to finish, but it’s been mastered already and the lacquers are winging their way to the pressing plant (which is, i think, where they’ll make the mothers and stampers, etc.). i’ve been wrangling the fastest route between final mix and record release for the past few weeks so that there isn’t such a lag, and i think it’ll be soon. 6 weeks is the very fastest, i think, but it will likely be longer than that. just trying to get all the ducks in a row so that there’s someone with a catcher’s mitt waiting at each stage. we mixed the last song last wednesday, and korey ran to (a national overnight carrier) to get it to bob weston over at Chicago Mastering Service for the next morning. then we took off to play sasquatch in washington, and now i’m home proofreading lyrics and credits and all that crap. sorry it took so long, honestly. i didn’t think it would, but i, once again, underestimated the distractions inherent in touring and living a “life”. this will be the last record at the original DFA Studios, as we’re closing that down after the building was sold, so there’s a lot to digest for me. i’ve been there nearly 20 years now, and i wasn’t a particularly young man when it opened, so there’s that.
anyway, be well, thank you for yr patience (even when it manifested as semi-angry “where the fuck is the RECORD< james!” posts!) and very much looking forward to getting this to you.
james

james murphy, 30-05-2016

On June 19th the album’s title was announced: American Dream. It was to be released on September 1st. All song titles were made public and a world tour was announced. LCD Soundsystem will play the Paradiso at Amsterdam on September 11th and 12th. On August 16th Tonite was released, including a videoclip.

American Dream

LCD Soundsystem - American Dream (lcdsoundsystem.com)

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

And, is the album worthy of the long wait? Most certainly! It is unbelievable but true, LCD Soundsystem just continues making great albums.

My anxiety of LCD Soundsystem not living up to its promise, has turned out to be completely unfounded. Such wealth, again! 1980’s influences (Talking Heads, The Cure, New Order), but also David Bowie. All extremely current and complete with the LCD Soundsystem dance influences. Murphy’s voice remains a little wonder. Whenever he sings/screams, it all comes across as sincere.

The music is rich, varied, sombre ánd uplifting. Its beauty is almost tangible at times. The production is clear, as can and may be expected of James Murphy.

Lyrically it’s more beautiful than ever. Nice lines all over the place:

i just got nothing left to say
i’m in no place to get it right
and i’m not dangerous now
the way i used to be once
i’m just too old for it now
at least that seems to be true

LCD Soundsystem – Change Yr Mind

standing on the shore getting old
you left me here with the vape clowns

i must admit: i miss the laughing
but not so much you

LCD Soundsystem – How Do You Sleep?

you got numbers on yr phone of the dead that you can’t delete
and you got life-affirming moments in yr past that you can’t repeat

LCD Soundsystem – Emotional Haircut

Early highlights are Oh Baby, Other Voices, Change Yr Mind, How Do You Sleep?, Tonite, Call The Police and Emotional Haircut.

It’s hard to grasp, but (luckily) true: LCD Soundsystem made another classic record!

Songs

All songs written by James Murphy, unless stated otherwise.

LCD Soundsystem - Ice-cream truck at Lollapalooza Festival 2017 (brooklynvegan.com)

LCD Soundsystem – Ice-cream truck at Lollapalooza Festival 2017

  • Oh Baby
  • Other Voices *
  • I Used To **
  • Change Yr Mind ***
  • How Do You Sleep? ****
  • Tonite **
  • Call The Police **
  • American Dream
  • Emotional Haircut ****
  • Black Screen **
* Written by James Murphy & Nancy Whang
** Written by James Murphy & Al Doyle
*** Written by James Murphy, Al Doyle & Tyler Pope
**** Written by James Murphy, Al Doyle, Pat Mahoney & Gavin Russom

In closing

Have you heard the new album yet? What’s your take on it? Let me know!

 

Compliments/remarks? I´d love to hear them!