The four fans of Lose Your Illusion II and The Spaghetti Incidentwill be pleased to know that the mostly original Guns ‘n Roses will be reforming on Saturday at this year’s Coachella. If, however, you have ears you will be more buzzed for the return of a band who left us on a high. LCD Soundsystem.
Despite a rapturous reception to this on social media, LCD Soundsystem is a band that has passed many by. One of those bands that were already lauded by the music blogs before the public really got to know them, making many turn against them before they’d given them a chance.
If the reunion news makes you do anything, make it make you acquaintance yourself with the smartest dance music of the new millennium and quite possibly ever, a band that can make you laugh, cry and think whilst never letting up on dragging you to the dancefloor.
Although it features on an album featuring a song with the lyrics “you wanted a hit, but maybe we don’t do hits”, Drunk Girls is the nearest LCD Soundsytem come to a pop song, with its call-and-response structure and ostensible subject of getting your drink on. Examine the song further however, and the same intelligence is there, especially in the killer lyric “drunk girls know that love is an astronaut, it comes back but it’s never the same”. The perfect way to ease yourself into the band.
Side note: I once played this to some actual drunk girls, and they turned it off and put Rihanna on, so if ever there’s a sequel let it be about that.
I Can Change
Always a band for the most part influence by underground disco and house from the late-’70s and early ’80s, here they embrace full-on ’80s synthpop, and the results are surprisingly glorious. It is also one of the band’s most full-on romantic songs, with Murphy asking that the object of his affection never change whilst he offers to change himself.
Side note: this is a song that has long been on my list of perfect first dance songs, so if anyone had a roughly four-minute edit you might even get an invite
Losing My Edge
Their first single, and basically a manifesto for what they would do over the next few years. Seven minutes of satire about the humblebragging of the average music fan, with James Murphy speak-singing through references to everyone from Daft Punk to Faust to the Slits to, in perhaps the song’s best moment, Gil Scott-Heron (or as the song puts it, ‘Gil. Scott. HERON!!’).
Side note: Samuel fact-fans will like to know that my old OK Cupid username comes from Losing My Edge, but please don’t blame my lack of romantic success on Murphy and Co.
New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down
For anyone who has ever tried to make it a big city, this is a song to intensely relate to. If it hit any closer to home it would leave a hole in your doormat. It is the sound of the city at 4am, as you leave to go home with bad vibes. It is the song of an old resident lamenting everything that has changed in the city they love, their favourite bars closing but the city still having an immense hold over them, ‘still the one pool where I’d happily drown’.
Side note: this song is one of the jewels of my LNM playlist on Spotify, perhaps the perfect playlist for those who like to mope around in a bathroom or bedroom setting and listen to sad songs.
Sound of Silver
In another deconstruction of the clichés of pop, I give you the lyric to Sound of Silver.
“Sound of silver talk to me, makes you want to feel like a teenager”
Yes, I definitely identify with that. I liked it in We Are Young by Fun.. I liked it in Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. I like it here.
“until you remember the feelings of a real-life emotional teenager”
Oh yeah, I was a total mess as a teenager.
“then you think again”
Yep, I’m much happier at 23 dancing to this song in a real club with a nice drink rather than in a playpark drinking cheap wine you could steal from your parents.
Side note: I really can’t emphasise enough how much of a mess I was as a teenager.
So there’s five almost chosen arbitrarily. All My Friends could be here, Someone Great definitely should be, North American Scum is one of my all-time favourites. Even their Christmas single released a few weeks ago is fantastic, as are most of the James Murphy/DFA remixes of anything. Basically, the top 5 system is flawed, and you should just listen to them.