Band breakups don't actually exist — never say never, even though they always do. But it's also true that you can never go home; more often than not, reunited bands return diminished, a little wan. (Mission of Burma was a surprising exception to this tendency.) There's a lot of life that happens, for the audience and the artist, during the intermediate of breakup and reunion. We're usually not on the same page anymore.
So, here we are — it's 2022 and Noah Baumbach, director of supple and sensitive films like Frances Ha and Marriage Story, has adapted Don DeLillo's beloved and paranoiac novel White Noise for the screen. It sounds promising-ish on paper, but what worries me is this: "new body rhumba," the first song from LCD Soundsystem since 2017's American Dream, is on the film's soundtrack. When the cowbell began to clank, we knew we were in trouble.
It's no crime for a song to be anodyne, but LCD Soundsystem made a career out of barely skirting that line — and the rule of diminishing reassembly we mentioned earlier still applies. The peaks and valleys LCD Soundsystem built so many six-minute songs around have, it seems, flattened into cornfields. There's a tiredness here that wasn't so forefront last time, no classic LCD sustain and release. Just a jog across the prairie, for whatever reason. As Delillo wrote in White Noise, describing the looming, infamous airborne toxic event: "The cloud still hung in the rearview mirror."