Stream LCD Soundsystem's New Album, 'American Dream' After a six-year hiatus, the New York dance-rock band has put out a "fiercely intergenerational" album, says pop critic Will Hermes.
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LCD Soundsystem Lives Its Darkly Philosophical, Archly Self-Aware 'American Dream'

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LCD Soundsystem Lives Its Darkly Philosophical, Archly Self-Aware 'American Dream'

Review

Music Reviews

LCD Soundsystem Lives Its Darkly Philosophical, Archly Self-Aware 'American Dream'

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The electronic rock band LCD Soundsystem staged an elaborate farewell concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in 2011. Thousands of fans from around the world came to see it. Five years later, the band reunited for a comeback tour, and now they have a new album. It's called "American Dream." Will Hermes has our review.

(SOUNDBITE OF LCD SOUNDSYSTEM SONG, "OH BABY")

WILL HERMES, BYLINE: You know, even by the standard of today's news cycle, LCD Soundsystem's whiplash turnaround time from retirement to reunion seems suspicious. I danced at their farewell show. I even cried a bit. And that closure feels cheapened a bit by this new album. However, the fact that the band still sounds absolutely in their prime makes me feel better.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH BABY")

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: (Singing) Oh, baby, oh, baby, you're having a bad dream here in my arms.

HERMES: Everything that's defined LCD Soundsystem is here, including the arch, darkly philosophical lyrics and the sound which taps into a sweet spot of art rock, new wave and synth-pop from the '70s and '80s. It's not derivative, but the echoes of Brian Eno and David Bowie are unmistakable.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CALL THE POLICE")

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: (Singing) The old guys are frightened and frightening to behold. The kids come out fighting and still doing what they're told. But you're waking a monster that will drive you from your hoary holes of gold.

HERMES: LCD started around 15 years ago in New York City when rock had a resurgence. They reminded people electronic dance music and rock weren't enemies. They actually sound fantastic together.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OTHER VOICES")

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: (Singing) You're just a baby now. You're just a baby now. You're just a baby now. You're just a baby now. You're just a baby now. You're just a baby now. You should be uncomfortable.

HERMES: LCD's great theme has always been growing older in youth-fixated music culture. Band leader James Murphy is 46, and he's still a man out of time, rebuilding classic styles like an old world artisan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TONITE")

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: (Singing) Every lover favors the same things. It's all, touch me; touch me; touch me; touch me tonight. We maybe realize...

HERMES: On the single "Tonite," he complains about modern pop music, fully aware he must sound like his mother.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TONITE")

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: (Singing) And luck is always better than skill at things. We're flying blind. Oh, good gracious, I sound like my mom.

HERMES: But this music is fiercely intergenerational, rooted in modern electronic music but looking back to punk rock and even doo-wop. LCD Soundsystem have decided not to retire. And good for them. None of us ever get younger, and no one should ever age out of the need to dance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EMOTIONAL HAIRCUT")

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: (Singing) I'm not sure I want to step outside with my emotional haircut.

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