MAGNET’s #12 Album Of 2017: LCD Soundsystem’s “American Dream”

Anyone who took James Murphy seriously when LCD Soundsystem played its supposed last show in 2011 is a dope. Quit to do what? DJ? Do a signature coffee? Play percussion for David Bowie? Yes, but no. The manicured-scruffy Murphy was always born to take the music of his youth (Liquid Liquid, Talking Heads, Can, the Fall, Psychedelic Furs), exploit it and yank it into the future with a furious-yet-finicky, sense-of-melancholy, now-sounding dance rock/funk and an emotional wallop that’s as poignant as all get out. American Dream does what Sound Of Silver and This Is Happening did, but even more so. There is nostalgia, hurt and the whiff-sniff of sadness that comes with loss on “Oh Baby,” the title track (dedicated to the late Alan Vega) and “Black Screen” (for the passing of Bowie). But Murphy is forever the snarky unsentimentalist, as his dry-ice vocal take on “Other Voices” succinctly proves. What is a surprise is that LCD is now (albeit slightly) more of a democracy with each member in post-punk mode and contributing thusly, resulting in a theatrical sound that’s thicker, deeper and louder than in previous settings. If you thought you couldn’t be more impressed with LCD Soundsystem than you were in its pre-retirement past, you were wrong. There’s nothing retiring or AARP about American Dream—A.D. Amorosi