The Best Albums of 2010: 5. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

5. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
DFA

Tell me a line
Make it easy for me
Open your arms
Dance with me until I feel all right

– I Can Change

In my own little corner of the world, there are few records that are as important to me as Sound Of Silver, LCD Soundsystem’s awesome 2007 album. So my expectations were high and the follow-up, This Is Happening, did not let me down.

I love this band. I love every time I listen to James Murphy talk about music. And the themes that run through their albums – growing old, what being cool means, listening to music – are big calling cards for me. They also blasted down my prejudice against electronica by mixing the wit of Elvis Costello with the physicality of the Ramones. Head and hips covered.

As a fan, this record came with an extra story – this is to be the last LCD Soundsystem album. Just when making it huge seemed like a possibility, Murphy will be pulling the plug on the full time LCD Soundsystem. So This Is Happening can be read as a last statement.

Not that it ever gets that heavy. No, it’s still a lot of fun. You Wanted A Hit has it’s tongue far in cheek. Pow Pow is a great bit of nonsense. Drunk Girls – derided by everyone I know – is fun but light. But it’s all designed to make you move, and the beats and rhythms hit and hit hard.

This album doesn’t reach some of the highs of Sound Of Silver, but they come close. I Can Change is the real stand out on the album. Murphy has stated this was his attempt to write an 80s synth pop song in the style of Yazoo. He nails it, with his best vocal to date.

The other songs on this album include Home and the rather large Bowie tribute of All I Want. Knowing it’s the last album makes it even more powerful.

There’s only 9 songs on this album. Maybe in retrospect, it wasn’t the grand statement we were hoping for with the follow-up of such an important album, or their last album. Which is a perfect thing for a band who put out an EP called “Confuse the Marketplace”.

What is left is a lovely goodbye. Like drinks with a friend who is moving on. Some laughs, some music, some heart, no sadness.

Goodbye LCD Soundsystem. I saw a couple of amazing gigs of yours. I loved every album. See you maybe one day.

Best tracks: I Can Change, Home, All I Want

Official site: LCD Soundsystem

There’s no proper film clip so you don’t get the fantastic studio version, but here’s I Can Change from Jools Holland.

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