Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sound of Silver

I knew it, I knew it, and I knew it! James Murphy is a certified bona-fide genius. Now that is a term I am not using too often these days. But James is pretty special. First off, he leads the greatest record label in the world right now, DFA. He is a master producer helping bands such as the Rapture. He is easily the best remixer I've ever heard. I usually don't like remixes, but his are amazing. Last but certainly not least, He is the leader of the greatest band of the post 9/11 era. Sorry Strokes, sorry Libertines, you guys lost your nerve. LCD Soundsystem have done something that hasn't happened since the late 1970s. They've created an electronic album that truly moves you. This album is Sound of Silver(applause sign).

Not since the days of Ralf and Florian when they were talking about "Neon Lights" or "Europe Endless" has electronic music made the hairs on my arms stand up. Songs like "Someone Great" and "All My Friends" are two very moving songs. They bring a certain nostalgia and longing that I haven't felt in some time except when Damon Albarn croons. Murphy sings about an ambiguous loss of someone on "Someone Great," and it is utterly beautiful. Now if you remember back to my post in december of last year about how much I love James Murphy's music, I talked about a segment in 45:33 that was just so beautiful. Well, Murphy recycles this segment in "Someone Great" and adds vocals to it. This works just magically. The next in life for the moments of beauty is the other epic, "All My Friends." In it he talks about growing older and not having regrets. The one line that I find just hits the nail on the head is "You spend the first five years trying to get with the plan/and the next five years/trying to be with your friends again" as well the line "I wouldn't trade one stupid decision/ for another 5 years of my life."

I may be young still, and I haven't lived a long life to be in my 30s looking back. Yet, there is something about these songs that truly connect with my soul. It gives me that certain feeling that I get when I listen to Please to Meet Me or Let It Be by The Replacements. I know that seems like a stretch of some sort since the bands couldn't be more different. Yet, Murphy, I think, is a very underrated lyricist. He has captured so many feelings that I have felt: the disillusionment of hipsters, the burden of being an American, the longing of someone, the feeling of wanting to get your life in order, the and so on. These are topics that so many can connect to.

Now for the music. Murphy has gone back to his old ways it seems. These songs, on the most part, are pretty long, which I find wonderful. The songs just grow and evolve like his early singles like "Beat Connection" and "Yr City's a Sucker." Sure when you look at LCD Soundsystem you can say, "Oh well, they are ripping off The Fall, Kraftwerk, Bowie, Neu!, Eno, The Talking Heads, and many more." So what if "Get Innocuous!" borrowing from "The Robots" by Kraftwerk. Damon Albarn once said something like,"The trick to making good music is liking good music and ripping of your influences." This was said in Blur's early years, so I wouldn't doubt him to being a little cheeky. Yet, there is some truth in it. Sure there are some similarities between LCD Soundystem and other bands, but they are stretching things further. They are a junction to all the music Murphy loves. He takes that and pushes it forward. The song on Sound of SIlver just grow and grow into incredible sonic opuses. "US v Them" and "Sound of SIlver" are two fine examples of songs that just get bigger and better by the second. Murphy is the king of sonic textures and arpeggios. The bass lines are hypnotic, and the guitars are placed just perfectly. His 4/4 rhythms never get old with the occasional cowbell. He just layers and layers sound and sound over another.

Murphy also knows his good ole punk rock specifics. "North American Scum" and "Watch the Tapes" reflect his perfectly. Might I add how "North American Scum" fits my mindset on how it is to be in a foreign country as an American. I act shy and unassuming as Murphy mentions to be "all right." These songs have catchy hooks musically and vocally. They are filled with wit and humor. These are when the parallels to Mark E Smith come out. Might I add getting in your car and flooring it to these songs.

Sound of Silver is a more complete work than the first album. It is fuller both musically and lyrically. It just builds and builds. This album, honestly, is perfect. You can't get a much better dance/rock hybrid. I really can't think of an objection to the album. The year is 2007. Ten years ago an album came out with a white cover art and is today regarded as an innovation in music and a classic. This album was of course OK Computer. Could James Murphy created an album of such status as that?You never know. I certainly feel that this album is pretty special and will be talked about for some time.

No comments: