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Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem

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Reviewed on 2nd September 2007.


Sound of Silver

By LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy is a man who owns lots of records, and judging by the influences present on Sound of Silver, it's clear to see that not only of the size of his record collection is enormous, the quality of it is too.

Whilst it's easy to name check as many artists as the lyrics on early LCD Soundsystem single Losing My Edge, I'll try to keep the list relatively short; this record is roughly the sound of Steve Reich, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Lou Reed, Gang of Four and David Bowie and a legion of other genius artists locked in Murphy's basement. Right there I could've used a much more elaborate scenario (e.g. X covering songs by Y, in A's apartment, produced by G) to describe the LP and reference other musicians, but what's the point? - If you're a fan of any of the artists mentioned, then that's one reason to pick up it up.

Sound of Silver is a record that's akin to some kind of beautiful infection, targeting your hips first - Get Innocuous! is one of the most infectious and inventive songs you'll hear this year, and first single North American Scum is more familiar of the stompy tracks from the LCD debut, and even of last year's 45:33. If your body isn't moving by fifteen minutes into this album, you're either paralysed or just no fun at all.

In the second third of the record, the infection spreads to your heart, as the sheer emotional depth beings to display itself; the sublime Someone Great mixes tender bouncing synths with a Glockenspiel that mirrors the vocal melody and (perhaps most effecting of all) Murphy's lyrics ("The worst is all the lovely weather/I'm stunned it's not raining") to create one of the most moving pop songs ever created. Who knew loss could be quite so painful?

What follows is somehow even more impressive; All My Friends is almost indescribable, the elements all fit together to create perfection. If Someone Great was one of the best songs to express loss, then this is the best song to express growing older. Starting with a galloping piano riff meets snappy percussion and New Order-esque bassline, the song builds and builds to create melancholy classic. Imagine Murphy locked in a room, slowly filling with water, steadily consuming him, and that's what his line deliveries feel like; what sounds calm and calculated at the start of the song becomes an emotional monolith by the end. Murphy spitting the lyrics defiantly, as if all hell will break loose if he doesn't finish every word he has in mind, which seems understandable - because these words are just so beautiful it'd be a tragedy if they weren't unleashed upon the listener - "And if the sun comes up / And I still don't wanna stagger home / Then it's the memory of our betters / That are keeping us on our feet".

Into the final third of the LP, you should feel acceptance of the fascinating disease that Sound of Silver is, you can let yourself become consumed by it, so why fight it? Make the most of the time left by listening to the fantastic title track & Watch The Tapes, again displaying Murphy's talent for creating a danceable tune. Closing the record, New York I Love You is a piano-driven ballad, working as both a homage ("New York, you're perfect / Oh please, don't change a thing") and criticism ("Like a rat in a cage / Pulling minimum wage") of his abode.

Sound of Silver is an incredible piece of work - targeting your heart, body and mind; making you feel, think and dance. The chances of you hearing a better record released this year are very slim indeed.



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