Never before has a middle-aged man in a white shirt commanded so much attention, but this is exactly what James Murphy, frontman and mastermind of LCD Soundsystem, does night after night. Armed with a six-piece band, James Murphy goes out with his smooth, deep voice and creates havoc on the dancefloor. Mixing dance, acid house, punk, electronica, garage rock and disco, LCD Soundsystem have quickly become one of the world’s premier live acts, selling out concert halls all over the world – including a sold-out four-night run at New York City’s Terminal 5. Their unique blending of genres allows for all music listeners to enjoy and fans are rarely disappointed. Here’s a guide to their three party-starting studio albums.
LCD Soundsystem (2005)
In 2005, LCD Soundsystem released their self-titled debut to rave reviews. The album instantly caught the attention of fans in the club scene with lead track “Daft Punk is Playing at my House,” a five-minute salute to the electronic music duo. The song is filled with a thumping bass guitar riff and cowbell while James Murphy explains how he is getting ready to host the two robot rockers. Even the songs about failed love will have you dancing. “Tribulations” features non-stop bass and synth and the perfect guitar solo to break up the two halves of the song. Fan favorite “Movement” is the first real taste of the band’s garage rock side. Feedback and a synth note dominate the first minute of the song until it explodes into full-fledged rock. Murphy screams while distorted guitars and drums fill the background. It was hard to believe that LCD Soundsystem would not blow up after their debut album.
Sound of Silver (2007)
Two years later, they did it again with the release of Sound of Silver. The album received widespread acclaim and was featured in many critics’ best-of-the-year lists. The album built on everything that people loved in the debut: It is the perfect hybrid of rock and dance music, nine classic tracks that never let go of the listener. “Get Innocuous” sucks you in right away with the electronic drums and slowly builds one instrument at a time until Murphy’s slightly muted voice enters. The theme of one instrument at a time and building is common in almost every song, especially in standout track “All My Friends,” which was Pitchfork’s top song of 2007 and second best song of the decade. The song plays off a simple repetitive piano riff, followed by the entrance of drums, bass, guitar and synth. The riffs never change throughout the song yet there is so much emotion in Murphy’s lyrics and voice. It is a religious experience to witness live.
This Is Happening (2010)
2010 has been a huge year for LCD Soundsystem, whether they’re headlining festivals or putting out more critically acclaimed albums. The band has yet to make a bad career move. Their latest release, This Is Happening proves that James Murphy is not slowing down: from the sarcastic tone of “Drunk Girls” to the dominant synth work in “Dance Yrself Clean,” LCD Soundsystem have shown that they are forced to be reckoned with. Every song will have you dancing and bobbing your head – especially in concert.
LCD Soundsystem bring their This Is Happening tour and dance party to Hamilton College in Clinton on Friday, October 1st. Tickets have sold out, but The NewsHouse will be on the scene.
Otto-Tune is a music blog dedicated to exposing the best in local, national and international music to the Syracuse community.