Review Summary: LCD comes through with an epic dance masterpiece that transcends dance music into an almost otherworldly experience.
LCD Soundsystem, the musical project of dance music mastermind James Murphy, are responsible for some of my personal favourite music ever made. And for me, This Is Happening, the bands swansong from 2010, hits the highest peaks of the bands career. The 9 songs on here, while long, glow with an undoubted energy that is like a magnetic attraction to the dance floor.
The quiet opening of 'Dance Yrself Clean' is just drums and vocals, however gives a suspense about what is coming next. And then BOOM. A buzzing, infectious synth line pulsates as Murphy's pained vocal throws in several memorable lines on repeat listens. Following this, Drunk Girls is all sharp driving bass and has a chorus that is among the best of the tracks here. The song is far shorter than the others and is the most instantaneous LCD get on this LP, and looking into their back catalogue, is probably their most direct single track (save 'Movement' perhaps). One Touch has odd lyrical run off's, and the music is all low key 80's synth sounds, with a squirming ear worm of a chorus in the 7 minute odyssey. All I Want, with a great narrative about longing for love, is one of the more emotional moments, with a fuzzy sliding guitar line that seems to have come straight off Bowie's 'Heroes' and put on a dance floor. I Can Change stands as a classic sounding single, with a simple and repetitive chorus running in the centre of glitch filled electronics and more emotion flooding your ear canals.
After a first side full of thrills, the second half takes an even more ambitious stab at dance-punk. 3 minutes of on off electronics open You Wanted a Hit, before a steady guitar line comes through and the end result is a near 9 minute track that feels only half it's length and reaches epic highs. Pow Pow has an almost painfully basic hook, but comes through with a killer bass line and a pulsing funky groove that drives the track. Then the albums only low point hits. Somebody's Calling Me, is all meandering piano and although it is decent, it feels over-long, especially when there are tracks here more than twice it's length that feel like radio pop tracks. Home acts as a perfect bookend to a career, with slippery guitar weaved in with retro synthesizers and sees LCD bowing out on a high on a career truly epic, but nothing ever got as epic as this.