Editor in Chief of SU:Print, Seren Kiremitcioglu, writes a review for LCD Soundsystem's brand new album, American Dream.
LCD Soundsystem are a very sentimental band for me; on my 18th birthday, I was gifted their This Is Happening vinyl from my boyfriend who thought I’d enjoy their music. Taking it for a spin, I was a huge fan of their dance-punk electronica style, so I was ecstatic when the band released their Christmas-themed single ‘Chris Will Break Your Heart’ later that very year. With the announcement of their reunion coming very quickly after, in early 2016, I was very excited for new material – and I was NOT disappointed!
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- oh baby
- Enter what feels to be a delightfully 80s style track. Oh lord, there are tears coming out of my face. This feels like a really personal song; and aside from one very recognizable ‘LCD’ synth, it’s something really new from the band. Murphy’s haunting vocals are beautiful on this very lonely, sad song, and immediately I’m in love.
- other voices
- Here we go – LCD’s funky, techno arrangements return in full for track 2, picking us up from a sad start to the party. With this track, you can’t help but move. The song, which takes us back to their roots, is an undeniable jam.
- i used to
- I was here for the tambourines, but I stayed for the oh-so-Bowie feel of it all. Could Bowie’s pushing of Murphy to create this record have resulted in this undeniable influence? This seductive, sultry track notes a change in tone, being gritty, rocky, and synthy as ever. It almost feels as if it was made with film in mind, serving an incredibly cinematic feel.
- change yr mind
- This track is as disjointed, mixed up and broken as the ‘American Dream’ they allude to in their record title. The lyrics especially seem to touch on what I like to call Gatsby syndrome; reaching for something that was never attainable. ‘I ain't seen anyone for days I still have yet to leave the bed I've 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.' Of course, this references Murphy’s depression which surrounded the band's breakup, primarily over feeling too old to continue with music and feeling like he has nothing left to say.
- how do you sleep?
- Ironic, I say, as I listen to this track due to the fact I am unable to sleep. This song is a 9-minute-long whopper, and I’m not mad about it. An ethereal tone extends throughout, with echoing vocals layered on top by Murphy. This song, much like ‘oh baby’ and ‘i used to’, is a completely immersive experience in how lonely and isolated it feels. A genre defining track, it’s both timeless and coming-of-age.
- Techno is BACK, kids – and so is disco, by the sounds of it. This is a pretty easy going techno dance track, therefore it slipped through the radar a bit for me. It doesn’t need to be as long as it is, and is probably the record’s most boring track, but hey – it’s still pretty good.
- call the police
- This very authentic LCD track makes for a staple pop track, which is by no means a bad thing. This song stands out as romantic and psychedelic in equal measure, with the music building nice and organically. This song could quite easily be the backing track of a road trip adventure, with some political commentary that’s as relevant as ever. ‘The old guys are frightened and frightening to behold, the kids come out fighting and still doing what they’re told / Well, there’s a full-blown rebellion but you’re easy to confuse by triggered kids and fakers and some questionable views / when we all start arguing the history of the Jews, you got nothing left to lose.’
- american dream
- If you’ve ever watched Stranger Things, then you’ll understand when I say that this should be the soundtrack for when you enter the Upside Down. Psychedelic as ever, there’s definitely a theme of psychedelic techno 80s going on through this record.
- emotional haircut
- First of all, this is a relatable title. Every haircut for me is emotional. A fast tempo, rocky, exciting track, this one is definitely suited for the rock fans out there. Whilst it isn’t one of my favourites, I think it would be perfect for a live stage.
- black screen
- Murphy is back at it again with the 80s theme. This 12-minute closer is spooky, melancholic and forever escalating. Make sure you have someone to hold at night before listening to it because it’s definitely quite haunting, sad, and lonely.
All in all, the record is an emotional rollercoaster. From wild nights out and road trips to lonely nights in and existential crises, this album has a song adapted and designed to fit each and every scenario. In my humble opinion, this album, with a sound that feels so mixed up and broken, is perfectly adapted to its ‘American Dream’ title.