Tridone’s Top Tracks: LCD Soundsystem makes a comeback with one of their best albums yet

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Tridone’s Top Tracks: LCD Soundsystem makes a comeback with one of their best albums yet

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While the plain, boring, Microsoft-Powerpoint-slide-esque cover art might not be appealing, “american dream” is one of the best albums of 2017 and is a wonderful addition to the band LCD Soundsystem’s incredible discography.

This is the fourth studio album to be released by modern indie rock legend LCD Soundsystem, led by their frontman James Murphy. After the band’s last album, “This Is Happening” was released in 2010, LCD Soundsystem broke up as a band. This ended up leaving fans, like senior Zach Vest, disappointed and hoping the members would get back together.

“I was excited for the new album,” Vest said, “My hopes going into American Dream were to hear the bright and vibrant sounds that LCD Soundsystem had been known for making over the years.”

Before the album starts, the listener can see that the new album is quirky. The title of the album and tracks are lowercase and misspelled, perhaps in an attempt to match the feel of the album. James Murphy has done this in the past, like on the hit “Dance Yrself Clean” This small touch adds a certain moxie to the record which helps the listener understand the feel of the album the band is trying to portray, before they hit play.

The album starts with a bang. There are three jaw-dropping tracks in a row. The leadoff track, “oh baby” takes a while to get going, building up for almost the entirety of its length, and reaching its crescendo towards the very end of the track. The punching synth leads are reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem’s last album, but utilized in a different way.

The brilliant production doesn’t stop on the first track. It carries on throughout the entire album. The next track on the album, “other voices,” is one of the more pop-accessible tracks on the album. The message of the song is perfectly captured in the refrain when Murphy repeats, “You’re still a pushover for passionate people.”

The album’s magnum opus, “how do you sleep?” comes in at the halfway point in the tracklisting. Chilling drums start the track, and  keyboards along with synths are slowly introduced as the song progresses. The track sounds similar to tribal style music as it starts off. Murphy’s influence from Berlin-era Bowie and post-punk bands like The Cure come off strongly on this track in a beautiful way.

The song, “how do you sleep?” leads perfectly into the third single, “tonite” It starts off with watery, quick-paced, and hard-punching synths along with tight drums to create a Daft Punk style sound. The electronic instrumental is  pristine on the song. It’s definitely one of the instrumental highlights of the album. Lyricism is weak on “tonite” as Murphy goes on a five minute long ramble, never really sticking to one topic. He talks about social media, the American dream, city life, and the millennial generation, just to name a few things.

The next three tracks are considerably the most pop-centric on the album. “call the police” shows U2 influence, and is the most high-energy song on the album. Showcasing slow, layered synths against a simple and rewarding melody from Murphy, “american dream” feels like a ballad at some points. On both of these tracks, Murphy looks at the younger generation in America and how the American dream applies to them.

Even though it is arguably the worst cut off the album, the track “emotional haircut” isn’t bad. The instrumentation on the track is great and has a real kick to it. The lyrics, however, don’t seem to have any meaning. The song does a whole lot of nothing and could have been left off the tracklisting.

To close off the album, James Murphy gives his fans a tribute to the late David Bowie in the song “black screen” The pair formed a friendship toward the end of Bowie’s life, and on “black screen” Murphy reminisces about good times with the rock legend. Running at 13 minutes, the outro track to “american dream” is powerful and moving.

The comeback release, “american dream” is an excellent addition to LCD Soundsystem’s killer discography. Although dull at points, the album packs a punch and rarely disappoints the listener. The band exceeded expectations with this record, putting together their most impressive effort since “Sound of Silver” in 2007. This album is worth the time it demands.

BEST TRACK(S): “oh baby” “other voices” “change yr mind” “how do you sleep?” “tonite” “call the police” “black screen”

WORST TRACK(S): “emotional haircut”

RATING: 9.1/10. One of the most amazing albums of the year, “American Dream” has hardly any low points, and its many high points are very satisfying.

This album is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and on lcdsoundsystem.com on vinyl or digital download.

Evan Tridone is a Contributor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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