New York's LCD Soundsystem has been artfully twiddling with musical conventions for several years now; it has pretty much become the benchmark for consciously hip electro-punk.
This Is Happening follows 2007's much-name-dropped album The Sound Of Silver and further affirms the fact that this is more of a clever `project' than a band.
Main man James Murphy dominates the songs (typical sleeve credits include `James Murphy: drums, Yamaha CS60, Roland TR-606, noise, vocals, claps, glockenspiel...') and plays fast and loose with a swathe of genres.
What's surprising, though, is that all this immaculate coolness is so fantastically easy to warm to.
This Is Happening is purportedly a swansong for LCD Soundsystem.
If that does turn out to be true, then Murphy has gone out with a bang and a starburst of future possibilities opening up through the à la mode DFA record label he co-founded.
Its nine fairly lengthy numbers bristle with invention and the instinctively snappy appeal of classic pop.
Murphy has always spiked his tunes with self-effacing humour (right back to 2002 single Losing My Edge) but here it sounds sharper and brighter than ever, from the deliciously louche rock groove of Drunk Girls (`Just 'cuz I'm shallow doesn't mean that I'm heartless') to the sweet and sour romance of I Can Change and All I Want.
He's still a tricky, contrary creature - on You Wanted A Hit he protests `but maybe that's not what we do'.
Maybe not, but he is capable of turning on a lot of new listeners beyond a knowing niche crowd.
Finally, LCD Soundsystem sound like an in-joke that everyone gets - and that really is happening.Sound Of Silver