Album Review: LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening

by Lindsay Kimball

Album art for LCD Soundsystem's
Album art for LCD Soundsystem's "This is Happening" (Album Art)

There are some bands that release new albums, and you can't wait to hear what they are going to do next and how they might reinvent their sound. Then there are other bands that release a new album, and you hope they keep their formula and make a record just like your favorite song from the last record. LCD Soundsystem strike the perfect balance between the two.

In anticipation of This is Happening, their third album, I had my fingers crossed that I'd hear another "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" from their 2005 self-titled double-disc, but I also want to hear "Someone Great" from their 2007 release Sound of Silver. They answered the call. Songs like "Drunk Girls" and "Pow Pow" continue to do what LCD Soundsystem does best - catchy, driving post-punk dance songs. Similar to "Someone Great," they still show their softer, melodic side in the ballad-like "All I Want."

There are nuggets of innovation that suggest that frontman, and co-found of the DFA record label, James Murphy is still ahead of the musical curve and has his finger on figuring out the next direction. "Dance Yrself Clean" starts the album with an intro of contemplative, circular lyrics over a minimal bed, which upon first listen left me dumbfounded as to where this new album was going. Then just over three minutes later, as if Murphy is musically yelling "PSYCH!," it busts out into the most energizing dance rock riff and instantly turns "Dance Yrself Clean" into my new favorite song.

With an insanely high rating of 9.2 from Pitchfork.com, a main stage slot at Coachella, followed by a world tour with sold out shows, it would appear that 2010 is primed to be the best year yet for James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem. Yes, This IS Happening.