Customer Reviews

58
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
.. but great artists steal, or so they say.

And LCD are certainly mining the past on their third effort, the deliberately dense "This is Happening." James Murphy, the frontman and only solid emelent of an otherwise revolving lineup, has never been shy about proclaiming his influences and touting his musical heroes, but previous lp's always seemed more a mis-mash of otherwise incoherent styles, rather than the clear homages that mark this, the newest LCD album.

Not that I'm complaining; far from it. But let there be a warning to those who don't find late 70's Bowie or Iggy to their taste: a full three songs on the sprawling nine track lp are, beyond a reasonable doubt, directly inspired by Bowie & Co.

Drunk Girls, for example, copies "Lodger's" Boys Keep Swinging, while Somebody's Calling Me borrows nearly note for note the backing blips and piano of "The Idiot's" Nightclubbing. All I Want, too, reaches back to Bowie's "Heroes" for its Eno-itized riffing and vocal delivery.

The video for All My Friends clued us all in that Bowie's Berlin Tryptich served as a muse for Murphy and his band, but never before has it been more clear that the Bowie/Iggy partnership circa '76-'79 really ground LCD in the canon of Rock 'n' Roll rather than more modern dance music.

Which isn't to say the dance/electro that marked the beginning of LCD's career isn't still there. It's just much more subtle and nuanced when it is. Songs like One Hit and Dance Yrself Clean both feature the requisite kickdrums and basslines, but the melodies and lyrics are much more at the forefront. The days of Daft Punk is Playing at My House are over. If LCD's going to make a dance song now, they earn it with emotional impact and complex dynamic shifts.

So yes, LCD Soundsystem has matured. The humorous breaks don't dominate the record this time around, they just pepper delicate and honest confessional pieces. Think Someone Great and All My Friends for most of the record. Even the on-its-surface crass Drunk Girls proclaims during its bridge, "I believe in waking up together," a romantic assertion if ever I heard one.

So Murphy's grown up, in a nutshell. And if growing up lyrically means trading in the dirty indietronic rave-ups for '70s alt-rock inspired anthems, more power to him.

Just beware: most songs break the six minute mark.
66 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I don't know that anyone makes better use of Cowbell than LCD Soundsystem. I don't know if its even possible. But seriously, they make good use of every instrument on every album. It's clearly a mission to take Old School Analog gear and percussion from old school dance and electronica and reinvent them in a fresh way.

Somehow they find ways to keep the music rich while appearing simple and highly accessible. This is True on all the LCD Sound System Albums, but especially on "This Is Happening". Ironically, on the track "you wanted a hit" he talks about how they don't set out to "make hits", but i truly believe LCD succeeds by staying true to its heart and making music that they as a band believe in.

This definitely an album to check out if you're looking for anything with cool grooves and a touch of rock here and there. its a nicely balanced palate of funk, dance, rock, with "indie" flavor and tongue in cheek sprinklings of humor.

My stand out tracks are (in order of appearance): DANCE YOURSELF CLEAN; DRUNK GIRLS; ONE TOUCH; I CAN CHANGE; YOU WANTED A HIT; POW POW; and HOME.

If you haven't heard the other albums, make sure to pick up Sound of Silver and the LCD Soundsystem albums.

Five stars for this one.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Going through my first listen now. Was dubious about buying this one due to the writings of the musical literates who listed all the influences that this album draws from and claimed it was a bad thing. There's nothing LCD Soundsystem has produced in the past that I didn't appreciate and enjoy. This album is no different.

Rock and roll is just cleaned up blues. Everything's been done and nothing's original. Shakespeare stole, so did Dylan, so did the Stones and the Beatles, as does Scorsese, Tarantino, and even (gasp) David Bowie.

The point is to make the thing you're doing so fun and awesome that no one will have time to complain.

This album is flat out beautiful. Very different mood than the prior releases. Murphy seems to have taken off his armor for this one, trading in irony, humor and up tempo catchphrase tunes for sincerity and haunting melodies.

Oscar Wilde said thst the only reason for a work of art to exist is to be beautiful, and that beauty was useless, in the pragmatic, workaday sense.

This is a useless, beautiful album.

It feels like New York city at night, fat with promise and heartache.

Buy it.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Seeing LCD Soundsystem live at this year's Sasquatch music festival, I realized I thought frontman James Murphy's current touring band is a little like Bruce Springsteen Springsteen fused the rock and r/b and singer-songwriter movement and folk of his recent past and turned them into a band that felt unmistakably thrilling, like a train at full speed taking you somewhere new. Murphy is much older and rounder than Springsteen was when he started, but that sense is there - there are guitars and drums and keyboards, but also drum panels and laptops and little gray boxes I can't identify. You can't quite call Murphy a DJ, even though that's where he started - instead, Murphy has created a band (even though he plays every instrument on the records) that seems to define the capabilities of modern music.

Or, to put it differently: This is happening. That title. How ironic and exciting for an album whose influences seem to fly out of everywhere at once. "I Can Change," the thrilling synth keyboard at its center could have been lifted from the 80s Human League classic "Keep Feeling Fascination;" "All I Want" could be a 90s classic guitar song, even with the bleeps; "Someone's Calling Me" is like a muted, sexy take on Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing."

But that's not what I think Murphy implies is "happening" with that title (nor are his hipster dance moves, gray hair, and skinny tie of the cover). Instead, that's what's in the lyrics - songs of facing your life and your shortcomings, buried in a great dance groove. That's undoubtedly the nature of "Dance Yrself Clean," a song that literally proposes dancing as a cure for the mentality of the "thirty car pileup" that's become an anxious mentality, and again in its last song "Home": "This is the trick/forget a terrible year," Murphy advises you. Dance Yrself Clean indeed.

The truth is the lyrics are Murphy's secret weapon underneath his already sterling beats. This is where This Is Happening distinguishes itself from the electronica trends of the 90s - though it makes you dance just as much (or more!), Murphy manages to place a revelatory statement of self inside each brilliant song. By the time the what-is-love dance-off "One Touch" segues into the beautiful love song "All I Want," you're already to give yourself over to Murphy equally for a long conversation as you would for a dance party. This Is Happening never stops giving you both.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
LCD Soundsystem never disappoints, but their last (but hopefully, not least) album delivered on some seriously amazing tunes. James Murphy, cowbells and fun beats are ingredients for a whole lot of head-bopping time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon May 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD
If things are to be believed, "This is happening" will be the third and final CD by LCD Soundsystem.

At 9 tracks totalling over 65 minutes, almost every song takes its time to weave its spell. The 8 minute long "Dance yrself clean" starts off Lo fi, bursting startlingly into life at about the 3 minute mark with bouncy/buzzing synths. Lead-off single "Drunk girls" is chugging Dance Rock with spoken/chanted/sung lyrics, extremely contagious.

"One touch" is a stomping Sci Fi number with flickering synths (and additional kids vocals), "All I want" is a rocker with a droning riff, while "I can change" is a shimmery synth-driven animal.

My absolute favourite is "You wanted a hit" which gradually builds layer upon layer to a simply brilliant Pop/Rock number with pulsing synths (and an instrumental break that sounds like a dischordant orchestra). "You wanted the time, but maybe I can't do time, oh we both know that's an awful line, but it doesn't make it wrong" go the wry lyrics in part.

"Pow wow" is a swirling spare groove with narrative-style lyrics. "Somebody's calling me" is the album's lone ballad, and closing is the Disco-tinged "Home" which would sound right at home on a Vampire Weekend album.

I have to confess, the first few times I listened to this, I wasn't too impressed and felt some songs were too long, but this album is a real grower and if it is LCD Soundsystem's swan song, what a wonderful way to go.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
Sandwiched between Pavement, Massive Attack and (ugh!) Tegan and Sara (and before that, the latest phenom Kid Cudi) at Sasquatch this year, LCD Soundsystem acted like they were just lucky to be inhaling the same oxygen as the rest. James Murphy came on stage, tugged at his tie and uttered a plaintive, "We're so honored to be here..." A lot of the kids around me got up to go get something to eat.

But damned if they didn't come back, and fast. LCD Soundsystem plays like they mean it, and later, everyone from the hippie clones to the old folks were shaking their heads with, "Who ARE those guys?!" One man complained that his feet hurt from dancing.

A lot of what they played is on this CD. From my perch as official Old Codger, I can only say that if Hall and Oates knocked up Bowie in his Berlin phase, their kid would be this band. Lots of synths, lots of beats. Heck, I'm just happy that dancing is back. I've heard they've shaved personnel recently--you'd never know it. Live, they're rich and huge-sounding. They're less so here. Standouts for me are "Dance Yourself Clean" and "I Can Change".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Three years ago, I bought LCD's "Sound of Silver". I titled my amazon review "Tongue in cheek David Bowie and Talking Heads".

Not sure if Mr. Murphy still has his tongue in his cheek, or if he's just using a proven formula, but if he does, the joke is on the listener. He's still recreating snippets of Bowie, especially Fripp period Bowie, and tosses in some very David Byrne-like guitar licks here and there along with an occasional oblique Byrne-ian lyric for good measure. I'm a big fan of both of those musicians (as is obviously Mr. Murphy) and "This is Happening" isn't a bad record, but I doubt very many people will be listening to it in 30 years the way we're still listening to "Scary Monsters" and "Remain In Light", two of the main records Murphy draws from on "This is happening".

Maybe it's that the incessant dance tempo gets kind of tiresome after a while. Just sayin'.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Some of these somgs are true works of art. The only problem is that the album needs more tracks as nobody ever wants it to end.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge fan of Talking Heads since 1980 (I was a teenager then) and I've listened to their albumus hundreds (if not thousands) of times, enjoying them immensely every time.

After they disbanded, I wondered if there would be another band that would sound like them, but alas, there were none (as far as I know), until LCD Soundsystem emerged. When I saw their video for "Tribulations" on MTV, I instantly fell in love with them and bought their first cd immediately (something I do very rarely with new bands).

Michael Murphy was only ten year old when Talking Heads were at the height of their career, so I was really amazed by the way he captured the sound of that era.

"This is Happening" is a great cd, and since I put it in the record player, it became an instant favourite of mine. Of course, you will find a lot of reminiscences from the 80s. "Dance Yrself Clean" sounds like a song out of a David Byrne solo album; "All I want" is a classice 80's ballad that reminds me of bands like "Psychedelic Furs"; the intro to "Somebody's Calling Me" sounds like "Nightclubbing" by Iggy Pop; with "I Can Change" and "You Wanted a Hit" LCD pay homage to Gary Numan and The Cure.

"Pow Wow" and "Home", with their underlying African rhythms, remind me of some of the best songs by Talking Heads ("Crosseyed and Painless", for one).

Despite all its reminiscences from the 80s, this cd sounds incredibly fresh and new, with more than a touch of irony. LCD managed to capture the spirit of the 80's and while owing a lot to great artists such as Bowie, Iggy Pop, etc., their music is enjoyable in its own right.

If you were young in the 80's (like me), you'll love this and will probably shed a tear of nostalgia; if you're young, I'm sure you'll enjoy it all the same.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Sound of Silver
Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem (Audio CD - 2007)

LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem by LCD Soundsystem (Audio CD - 2005)

This Is Happening
This Is Happening by LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (Audio CD - 2010)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.