This Is Happening, the purportedly last album from James Murphy aka LCD Soundsystem, heralds an end to the great dance rock revival of the noughties. Are bands going to stop copying from the 80s after this? Probably not and with good reason, for James reminds us what was so endearing about his kind of spontaneous yet rehashed dance music. Mellow opener “Dance Yrself Clean” comes in way too relaxed, but builds up and stretches as far as its 9 minutes would allow.
Striking the typical LCD balance of punk and dance, like ‘North American Scum’ and ‘Daft Punk Is Playing In My House’ did on previous albums, is the single ‘Drunk Girls’. Don’t be fooled by the sexist title for there’s a clever humor here (“Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut/ It comes back, but it’s never the same”).
The tradition of splicing jerky electronics with distorted guitars and melodic vocals is continued with ‘One Touch’, which is bound to be a dancefloor classic. ‘All I Want’ brings back the vibe of chart-topper, ‘All My Friends’, and the rest of the album contains equally infectious grooves and attitude. Although This Is Happening might not match up to the LCD’s self-titled debut or the crossover success of Sound of Silver, it’s still one hell of a great dance album with real soul-which, if you couldn’t guess, is the endearing part.
LISTEN TO: ‘All I Want’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Hot Chip, The Rapture, New Order
Listen to the whole album at www.lcdsoundsystem.com/thisishappening