Friday, November 7, 2014

The Rock Song of J. Alfred Pruflove: LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver

Then: This was right at the tail end of my flirtation with 'college rock' before I discovered Foetus and things really got interesting. I had been a big fan of James Murphy, aka LCD Soundsystem, from his first album, which was typical 2004 synth-driven indie rock blended with an awareness of weird '70s fringe stuff, a la Can, Brian Eno, This Heat, etc. I snatched up Sound of Silver pretty quickly and was impressed at how much more mature it was; not really any party anthems like 'Daft Punk is Playing at My House' and more longform, squelchy meditations of how much it sucks becoming old and miserable, probably the closest thing to a modern Talking Heads album as we're likely to get.

Now: James Murphy is a pretty bad singer, but unlike most of the others I've checked out since starting this, he's a really excellent lyricist. His flat, limited range almost works to enhance his poetry, which is beautifully despondent and still makes me feel rushes of emotion, especially the jaw-dropping one-two punch of 'Someone Great' and 'All my Friends' in the middle of the album, which so captures the essence of being a male approaching your 30s and realizing that things aren't going to work out the way everyone had told you they would growing up. He has a line in 'All my Friends', "We set the controls for the heart of the sun/One of the ways that we show our age" which is so short and so simple and yet so affecting, as great poetry tends to be. The album isn't perfect, there's a slump after track 6 (the title track is distressingly dull) but Sound of Silver is impressively one-of-a-kind.

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