Friday, December 08, 2006

All My Friends

Song: All My Friends
Artist: LCD Soundsystem
Album: Sound of Silver

One of my favorite dance records of last year was LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled debut. The two disc set featured their first proper album as well as a second disc that collected their singles from years before. (Including the underground dancefloor classic “Losing My Edge.”) I was pretty bananas for the first disc and loved the singles “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” and “Tribulations.” The entire record jumped from style to style and was all consistently good. While the “style” for each song was a bit different, they continued to use some of their trademark sounds and beats (including their favorite, the cowbell) that they employ with their remixes that they do as DFA.

This year has seen the release of two volumes of remixes by the DFA with the likes of The Gorillaz, Hot Chip, Le Tigre, Goldfrapp, and Nine Inch Nails, as well as a non-stop forty-five minute track created for Nike specifically for runners. (Available on iTunes.) In their spare time this year (Um… okay) they also produced the follow up to the self titled debut, “Sound of Silver” which is scheduled to be released at the end of March next year. Due to our new rapid information society and technology being what it is, the album has been leaked… and I got a chance to listen to it.

I immediately liked this album, despite it feeling less dancy as the debut at first. Its textures and complexities are coming through with each further listen, and more specifically, how lyrically strong the record is. Lead James Murphy blends psychological tales of friendship and love with state-of-our-culture musings about America, city life, and how things are changing, possibly for the worse. It’s very tight and a complete conceptual work… I’d almost call it the first dance singer-songwriter album.

The songs do take their time to build and many reach and surpass the seven minute mark, which may be a determent to some. Though I am appreciating the stories being told here, and the time they are given to stir within the listener, making the payoffs bigger, and better.

“All My Friends” is smack in the middle, creating a seriously dramatic centerpiece that sets you up for the rest of the album. The open sounds like the beginning of “Baba O’Riley,” and uses a persistent piano vamp that builds and moves the song along while lyrically the song connects on a very emotional level. This is an amazing song that worries less about being important to the dancefloor but creating a mood and tone that grabs the listener pretty forcefully.

I have also been obsessed with the album closer “New York I Love You (But You’re Bringing Me Down)” as it really sums up perfectly the state of New York City right now, with the narrator torn with his love of the city and what it still means now, yet conflicted with the consistent corporate cleansing that has plagued the city over the last decade. It’s a straight forward piano ballad, beautiful, sad, and upon its close I soon realized I had finished one of the most important records of 2007… and it’s not even here yet.


Here is the video for "Tribulations," which can be found on the debut:


Anonymous said...

Just saw that there's a DFA bash tonight at Studio B in Brooklyn if anyone's interested:

Josh said...

I like this track a lot. Would be keen to hear the entire album. And that 45 minute track for runners.