This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem.
The latest piece of Electro-Dance goodness from James Murphy, This Is Happening, is Murphy’s (otherwise known as LCD SoundSystem) last release under the name that has seen him release two other albums, first, the self titled LCD SoundSystem, and next, the wonderful Sound Of Silver.
Dance Yrself Clean
Dance Yrself Clean, the opening track for the album, is a interesting listen, it begins with the group of band members along with Murphy singing together against a simple drum beat, with bits of synth coming in and out as they progress. Just when you think that the whole track will proceed like this, the currant beat is accompanied by an incredibly funky synth dance piece, accompanied by Murphy’s signature wailing vocals. Its a good track, but at 8:58, it can certainly drag on.
Probably my favorite song off the album so far, Drunk Girls is a great track. It has everything you would expect from a great LCD track. Fun lyrics which have a casual message that everyone who’s partied before will understand, plenty of chances to sing along and clap your hands, plus some great, light hearted synth playing along in the background. A simple structure leads throughout the song so its good fun to listen too and something that will get plenty of cheers if it starts playing at a party.
A nice groove is one way to describe this song. Much like Drunk Girls, this is the kind of track you can dance too. The wonderfully layered synth and infectious beat really makes this a good listen, but the lack of anything that is definitively LCD can make this a bit of an easy song to forget.
All I Want
Another wonderful track, All I Want combines a nice, repeated progression of piano and drums with an awesome wailing guitar track. One thing ive noticed about most LCD songs is their repetition, punctured only by a few parts that actually change things up, this, is most cases, would be a bad thing, but the pure enjoyable nature of many of the songs, Murphy’s voice and lyrics can create songs that don’t really require structure in themselves, and this is certainly evident in All I Want.
I Can Change
The bassy, chilled out tone in most parts of this track makes it an easy listen, and the addition of the high pitched synth during choruses shakes it up enough to make it an enjoyable listen, Murphy seems to have gone the extra mile on his vocals and lyrics during this track too, as they’re certainly a highlight.
You Wanted A Hit
You Wanted A Hit begins feeling like a vortex of synth, darting and flashing about all together, once drums and guitars come in, the synth fades away to leave a beat with a real feeling of purpose, I dont know what gives me that feeling, it just feels like its on a mission. Once the lyrics kick in and you get a feel as to what Murphy is really trying to say, it becomes more and more apparent that this song is either a message to someone or to a group of people about not always listening to what other people want.
Probably the strangest track on the album, Pow Pow has a complete lack of structure in its lyrics, and bongo’s abound around the whole song. Its certainly weird, and I cant see everyone liking it. But its certainly an interesting track to listen too.
Somebody’s Calling Me
Beginning with a slow progression of piano, echoing clapping, and quiet vocals, and ending with basically the exact same thing, Somebody’s Calling Me is probably the worst song on the album. It lacks that energy that comes with most LCD tracks, so it cannot support its repetition, and the irritating explosions of synth don’t seem to serve any purpose but too annoy.
Starting out with an undeniably catchy mixture of of low-key synth, some sporadic guitar strings, and some nice high-hat play, Home just becomes more and more layered as it progresses, bringing in vocals, horn sounding synth, and some incredibly funky bass. It’s probably one of the best tracks beside Drunk Girls and is a great way to finish off the album.
This Is Happening is certainly a good way for Murphy to say goodbye to LCD SoundSystem, but I do feel as though it is a little bit unpolished, there’s no song that will be remembered for a time to come other than Drunk Girls and even that might only be a pop track to be forgotten in a few months. Other than a few issues with irritating or somewhat boring songs, This Is Happening is definitely a good listen and something that fans should enjoy.