LCD Soundsystem
This Is Happening


4.0
excellent

Review

by BenHeller USER (15 Reviews)
May 23rd, 2010 | 17 replies | 2,915 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Contains a rapturous tangle of tingling grooves, a primitive electronic energy, and a level of invention few in this field can ever expect to achieve.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Much as James Murphy may have intimated, “This Is Happening” will never be his curtain call. The deep musical passion he harbours is all consuming, and an ability to unravel all the vital ingredients from the past to formulate his own brand of Indie/Dance music have both entertained and influenced many fans and peers for the past decade. Even at his most self analytical, Murphy knows that he can’t let this legacy end here, as there’s still too many creative buds ready to flower for him to call it a day. Ultimately, “This Is Happening” will be unfairly judged against its predecessor, 2007s magnificent “Sound Of Silver”, and although this recording falls just short it still maintains a rapturous tangle of tingling grooves, a primitive electronic energy, and a level of invention few in this field can ever expect to achieve.

All of the usual sonic suspects of influence are here with Eno/Bowie Berlin period space rock, 70s New York disco rhythms, and the spare Krautrock synth sounds all moulded together with just a hint of the punk aesthetic. Murphy still sacrifices himself to music and instrumentation from a bygone era, and yet he manages to retain a sharp, simplistic modernity that’s perfectly captured in the rousing opener “Dance Yrself Clean”. What starts out as a fairly innocuous slow burning groove explodes with an all enveloping Moog bass line and a vocal performance that sees the singer at his most manically deranged as he turns to familiar social anxieties, making for an arresting, attention grabbing introduction.

“Drunk Girls” is typical LCD Soundsystem Dance/Punk; rhythmically tight, musically ramshackle and full of the knowing wit that made “North American Scum” one of the most memorable tunes of the last decade. For some, “All I Want” may sail too close to David Bowie’s “Heroes” (particularly the lead guitar refrain). The fact that there is a definite nod to the Thin White Duke should never deter the listener from the dynamic counter synth instrumental layered within, and one of Murphy’s most heartfelt vocal performances. The gentle Japan/Yellow Magic Orchestra sounding introduction of “You Wanted A Hit” bizarrely drifts into a new wave/power pop recording that defends his inability to write hit records on demand. The call and answer yelps of “Pow Pow” may be wearing after continued listens, but the 70s groove remains intact with a foot tapping intensity. The haunted ballad “Somebody’s Calling Me” needs an editorial snip of a couple of minutes, particularly as it’s followed by the richly rewarding up tempo, lyrically uplifting closer,“Home”.

One can never be sure why this is James Murphy’s final recording as LCD Soundsystem. Maybe it’s the conviction to the rigours of attempting to better his high quality musical standards that causes the personal turmoil. Maybe there is a deep seated inner belief to bow out at the top of his game. Judging by “This Is Happening” and all of his previous works, the music world will be a poorer place without him. He can’t end it here.



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user ratings (492)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Peter Tabakis (4.5)
James Murphy tops himself. Attempting greatness, he overshoots, and lands on a stone-cold classic....

Ryan Flatley EMERITUS (3.5)
Overwrought at times, LCD Soundsystem still provide an abstract view of an often muddied genre....

J. Ponton EMERITUS (2.5)
No, it's not....


Comments:Add a Comment 
gimo80
May 23rd 2010



223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hey dude, nice review - your writing style is really descriptive which really helps legitimise your points.

My one complaint however is that this could be seen as a fitting end to an incredible trilogy of albums...but I totally feel your pain! But if anything this album is a fantastic swansong for LCD Soundsystem and hopefully Murphy will be back doing something under a different name.

BenHeller
May 23rd 2010



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I totally take your point about assessing his complete works. Few have produced such consistently good albums over the past decade.

I wanted to view this album in some form of isolation because given that there has been a long time scale between each release there may be listeners out there who are new to LCD Soundsystem and if that is so then I wanted to emphasize that this is an excellent album that's just surpassed by "Sound Of Silver".

That said, I wasn't in any way disappointed. thanks for the constructive comment gimo.

AggravatedYeti
May 23rd 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review was good, tho I'd say Murphy is more in tune with New York New Wave compared to Disco.

I agree that this will probably not be his last album, but I think I may prefer this over 'Sound of Silver' after another few months.

BenHeller
May 23rd 2010



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I guess you're probably right Yeti. But don't you think that many New Wave acts have employed disco rhythms over the years? From the Mike Chapman produced Blondie to The Rapture, they've all taken four to the floor beats, often exaggerated with double tracked bass effects.

AggravatedYeti
May 23rd 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

true, but disco itself was built from Pop, Soul and Blues. The only reason I say is the epic build-ups LCD employs are a lot more reminiscent of New Wave as compared to the directness of Disco.

But of course he's heavily influenced by it. ;)

BenHeller
May 23rd 2010



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I get ya. Agreed :o)

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2010



30291 Comments


I pretty much disagree with every point you make, but goddamn it your style of writing is impressive!

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2010



9982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sound of silver shits all over this yeti

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2010



30291 Comments


Yeah, but not by much ;)

AggravatedYeti
May 23rd 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this shits all over you rudy

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2010



9982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

mmm sexual

AggravatedYeti
May 23rd 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just the way you like it

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2010



30291 Comments


I'll find you 2 a cup if you want

Enotron
May 23rd 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this. Is. HAPPENING.

I would bump this if the album title was written like that

I'd probably make this a 5 if the cover was Murphy's orgasm face tehehehehe

AggravatedYeti
May 23rd 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^it prob is.

also yes Dev, plz mail to Amurrrica.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2010



30291 Comments


Sent, expect delivery in 6-8 weeks

AggravatedYeti
May 23rd 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

with bated breath over here.



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