James Murphy is a god in some musical circles. I wouldn’t put him up that high, but I do think he’s a genius producer, a sometimes decent lyricist and a charismatic frontman.
This is Happening gets away with some self-indulgence, like the song “Pow Pow,” because the other songs are so catchy and danceable that we (I) can forgive a transgression like that. Especially when the lead track, “Dance Yrslf Clean,” is so damn good.
It starts slow. Really slow. The song is nine minutes long, and it doesn’t kick into high gear until shortly after the three minute mark. But when it does it explodes. The beats get funky and the quiet synths come to the foreground, turning a light toe-tapper into a full-on dance party.
For me, it’s the best song on the record. There’s some other really strong stuff here, though. On “All I Want” James uses some of the sound of “Us v Them” and turns it into a bittersweet pop song about lost love. It’s probably the best written song on the record, especially it’s opening verse:
Wait for the day you come home from the lonely part
And look for the girl who has put up with all of your shit
You never have needed anyone for so long
You learn in your bed you’ve been gone for too long
So you put in the time, but it’s too late to make it strong
It may seem a bit morose, but the beat keeps things moving, and it never really slows down the flow of the record.
In fact, this record never really loses it’s way at all. The beats are consistently good throughout, and the songs are made to party to, but could just as easily be enjoyed alone. The track, “Home,” is perfect to play as the last song at a party. The word home is said so many times, your guests are sure to get the hint. Although, if they listen to the rest of the song, they may get the wrong idea:
This is the trick, forget a terrible year
That we can break the laws
Until it gets weird
And this is what you waited for
But under lights, we’re all unsure
So tell me
What would make you feel better?
This is Happening is a good record, not a great one. Not as good as Sound of Silver, but better than what most electronic artists put out. It’s definitely a good boogie record that you can put on whenever. If you’re feeling down, This is Happening picks you up. If you’re already feeling pretty good, it’ll make you feel great.
- LCD Soundsystem hails from Brooklyn. James Murphy sings and plays all instruments.
- They (he has a band that plays live) will be performing tonight at a sold-out show with Hot Chip at Aragon. They’ll also be playing Tuesday night at the The Riviera Theatre (Tickets are $34).
- This is Happening is available on DFA Records’ website for $14 (CD) or $20 (vinyl). It can also be bought on iTunes for $9.99.
“Home” official music video