Fans and music lovers all over the globe have rejoiced simultaneously today as seven years of patiently waiting and hoping and longing have finally come to fruition as James Murphy returned with the much anticipated fourth album by dance-punk giants LCD Soundsystem. Was ‘American Dream’ worth the wait? Of course it bloody was, let’s not even play that game. But what magic does it actually hold and what can you expect if you haven’t already made your purchase?
Let’s start with that actually, the word purchase, in 2017 may even seem like a foreign concept when it comes to music as streaming and illegally downloading music is a far too common thing, and when I originally visited iTunes to get a hold of the album, I was startled to see £9.99 staring back at me, until looking across at the duration time of the album and knowing not only was I about to receive quality but a damn load of quantity also. Chances are a physical purchase will be placed onto tomorrows to do list also as the album deserves that much respect.
The album pulls no punches and needs no introduction as they head into first track, ‘Oh Baby’, reassuring you that you’re onto a winner from the start. Wonderfully and shamelessly 80’s sounding, it merges dreamy vocals, a reoccurring and up-tempo piano note and a soul shattering synth, heavy and dark layered over the light of the rest of the track. If their first, teaser release from the album, ‘Call The Police’ wasn’t enough to get you on board earlier this year, the first track on the record will do it. ‘Other Voices’ is a disco/dance track but has that classic LCD Soundsystem feel to it, whilst featuring tweaked out instrumentation and a sporadic and clumsy keyboard riff. No novelty, no gimmicks and it may be the closest they get to adding that one broad track that’ll hopefully appease the casual fan, but in all honesty I don’t think this album has that. It feels more like a constant barrage of quality, amassing a near perfect album for full length listening is more the aim here, and the goal appears to have been reached.
‘Change Yr Mind’ stands out as a particular club night set list addition and I can almost hear it being played at The House Of Good’s monthly electro club night Above Below, as it holds all the right elements to bring a dance floor to a smooth, euphoric and consistent sway. Having said that, is this an exclusive point, probably not, the majority of the album holds the same power and it’ll be interesting to see which tracks do get cherry picked for club night use around the country. The mid point of the album may just steal the show, at nearly ten minutes long ‘How Do You Sleep’ starts out as a Jim Morrison-esque sermon, against a backdrop of electronic wizardry. The striking resemblance it has to The Doors classic ‘The End’ is incredible and has you wondering and waiting for it to descend it a chaotic and riotous crescendo, and of course it does not disappoint. With a bassy synth tone, relentless in its quest to obliterate your ears joining the fray half way through and reaching a fever pitch at around five and a half minutes in, this may be the masterpiece of the whole record and stand amongst any of LCD Soundsystem’s greatest tracks to date across a fifteen year odyssey that hopefully isn’t nearing its end any time soon, but if the past six years are anything to go by, James Murphy will always be an enigma and the band as a whole a mysterious and free spirited unit that strikes when they want and always delivers. Take my word for it, you can’t talk about new music in 2017 without exploring ‘American Dream’ by LCD Soundsystem, as it proves to be a dream come true for the entire world.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)