In 2011 LCD Soundsystem announced that their last show would be at Madison Square Garden set for that Spring. But a few years later, flickers of lights started to come back on and in 2016 James Murphy reunited the band to headline Coachella. A new album was also announced for that year but it would take until September of 2017 before that saw the light of day.
I purchased the album not too long after release but had a hard time with it. Off and on for the next 2+ years I would keep trying to get into it before finally putting through the review process this year. First single “call the police” was sublime from the get go. An anthemic call to arms where Murphy exclaims, “we’re death from above!” As a contrast, the album starts on a slower note with the emotional “oh baby” and is bookended by the David Bowie tribute “black screen” where Murphy sings of their relationship over a light, echoing drumbeat.
A strong New York funk by way The Talking Heads influence runs through tracks like “other voices” and ‘I used to” The Daft Punk like “tonite” won a Grammy for best dance recording in 2018. “how do you sleep” about former DFA partner Tim Goldsworthy holds the emotional weight of the album. The 9 minute opus is punctuated by a devastating synth stab that appears a third of the way in.
At the end of 2017, the comeback album was awarded album of the year honours in both Mojo and Uncut magazine. While Murphy creates many stellar moments and a few career highlights (“call the police” and “black screen”), it’s the angular funk of several tracks with guitar squalls that make for a more challenging listen. It’s been quite the journey with this album, glad it’s finally done!