LCD Soundsystem, "This Is Happening"

84 Billboard Rating

LCD Soundsystem principal James Murphy is at his cynical best on the act's third album, "This Is Happening." Backed by colorful electronic textures, infectious basslines and futuristic rock melodies, the singer/ producer conveys the hard truths of life over nine tracks. Murphy opens the 60-minute set with subdued vocals and sparse backup on "Dance Yrself Clean," singing about exclusion and fake friends--but three minutes in the song explodes with a thumping beat and boisterous drums. Never shy to borrow material, he evokes the call-and-response style of the Velvet Underground's "White Light/White Heat" on the single "Drunk Girls." The cut--a prime example of LCD's patented disco-punk-funk--also features the group's characteristic tongue-in-cheek humor, comparing "drunk boys" to pedophiles. In contrast to this party cheer is the defiant "You Wanted a Hit," a lengthy multilayered jam on which Murphy sings, "You wanted a hit, but that's not what we do." --Ilya Skripnikov

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