James Murphy, aka LCD Soundsystem, returns with new album "Sound of Silver" March 20 on DFA/Capitol Records. "Sound of Silver," the follow-up to the massively acclaimed and eponymous 2005 debut, was recorded over the summer of 2006 in a farm in upstate New York by Murphy and visitors from the big city including live band members Nancy Whang, Pat Mahoney and Tyler Pope. There, between silver foil-covered walls, nine tracks were crafted into one of the pinnacle albums of 2007. "Sound of Silver" finds LCD Soundsystem further expanding its sonic palette, taking its experimental impulses to wild new places but also firmly establishing itself as a singularly great pop group. Here, pulsing beats, abstract funk, crystal melodies and towering walls of sound combine to create a sound genuinely like no other.Lead single "North American Scum" is a crushing anthem every bit as potent as its title; "All My Friends" opens with percussive, minimalist piano before blooming into soaring harmonics; and "Us v. Them" melds dirty throbbing bass, pitched cowbells, chicken-scratch guitars and a full-on timbale jam of a closer.
Two years after LCD Soundsystem's eponymous full-length debut sent indie scenesters rushing to the dancefloor, the outfit headed by dance-rock producer James Murphy serves up another stiff cocktail of punk, dance, and funk with Sound of Silver
. Analog synths, chugging basslines, chunky guitars, and Murphy's wild falsetto excursions are once again the foundation to which is added the new and strange, such as the heavily chorused voices that suggest backward-masking in the opener "Get Innocuous" and the captivating harmonics keyboardist Nancy Whang bounces off of Murphy's vocals on "Someone Great." If this album has its own version of "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," it has to be "North American Scum," an infectious stormer that breezily dismisses Europe as a place where "the buildings are old and you might have lots of mimes." Such lines are good evidence that LCD's music would rather ridicule itself than fall into the kind of pretense and nostalgia it constantly lampoons. The album's title track reflects that hankering after one's teenage years is often interrupted when "you remember the feelings of a real live emotional teenager--then you think again," while the power ballad "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" wearily serenades the Big Apple as "still the one pool where I'd happily drown." True, LCD's music is not for everyone, which may have something to do with why their fans love them as they do. If you fall into the latter category, however, Silver
is gold. --Brent Kallmer