LCD Soundsystem return to sell some more tickets on the heels of a new lowercase loving album, american dream.Columbia Records / DFA, 2017
7.5 / 10
Wow, this was a hard review to write. Mainly because my computer wanted to autocorrect for every time I used lowercase for the album and song titles. Why the lowercase, James?! What’s the point?! However, I guess I shouldn’t complain. After all, we have a new album from LCD Soundsystem, and that’s what we all wanted as soon as James Murphy said the band was playing its final show six years ago. Now, we find out that Murphy may have been doing it just to drive up ticket sales for the infamous Madison Square Garden show. And he’s probably selling even more tickets as the band returns to a rabid fan base. However, is the new LCD Soundsystem album worth the wait? And most importantly, is it worth all the hype?
Because there is lots of hype. Lots of music sites worship anything Murphy does, even if it’s not necessarily new or even that exciting. But it’s James Murphy; the guy responsible for “All My Friends”, the best song of the millennium (lol). So before I get to my assessment of american dream, I asked a couple of my Earbuddy co-writers for their opinions on the album. Below is what they gave me.
Can someone tell hipsters it’s OK to like dance music so that we can be done with LCD Soundsystem? This, like Brand New’s new one, is a fine album. I don’t get the clamor for AOTY.
What annoys me more than usual is that when you ever try to talk about LCD Soundsystem with a true believer, they’ll bring up 1) the Madison Square Garden farewell show, 2) how the lyrics really resonate with them, or 3) James Murphy’s encyclopedic knowledge of music. None of that stuff matters (except maybe some of #2) when there’s barely anything interesting (or catchy) in these 6-minute long songs.
Nothing on Earth compares to this heartwarming, majestic, epic and beautiful work of art. Murphy’s boring lyrics about a lumpy white dude wandering around New York should be compared to the greatest works of literature; in fact, if I could, I would take a shit on every book ever written because “American Dream” is the best fucking thing ever. James Murphy makes David Byrne look like an asshole!
Hmm…I sense a smidge of sarcasm in John’s thoughts on the album. But you can’t help but feel there’s truth to both of their opinions. Is american dream really an album of the year? No. A lot of people are letting their excitement overwhelm their honesty. Is american dream a good album. Yes, and there are even a couple of great songs — the title track and “tonite”. But there’s also some snoozefests like “how do you sleep?” and “black screen”. Both have great moments; the former’s come in the end while the latter’s come in the beginning.
James Murphy is a master of the slow build. He’s been doing it his whole career, yet he’s able to hide the sometimes agonizing grind of his lengthy intros by complementing them with lyrics. Here, he mostly makes songs about getting old, which apparently isn’t as fun as being young. Because you die and you see those around you die, including your heroes, the ones you shaped your dreams after. However, his observations only matter more so than other musicians because it’s James Murphy. Anyone else might not even stir a reaction. At least he’s still capable of that in his older age.