The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

LCD Soundsystem makes thoughtful return

Kelsey Neubauer

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In 2011, America and the rest of the world said goodbye to LCD Soundsystem, a band that played a major role in the indie scene of the 2000’s.

Now, LCD Soundsystem is back and examining a nation with a different face – giving a reality check on the complexity of the “American Dream,” as the album is titled.

Founded in Brooklyn in 2002, LCD Soundsystem became an international sensation with the release of “Losing My Edge,” off their self-titled album, which won them a Grammy in 2005.

Their initial “break up” was announced after their 2010 album and commemorated during a 2011 tour and documentary, with extensive explanation by frontman James Murphy on why he was leaving the music scene.

The world thought they had said a painful goodbye to a decade and the band that encapsulated so much of it.

Flashforward seven years: the new album arrives at what seems to be a near post-apocalyptic moment within the music world, particularly for the New York indie scene.

The year of 2016 brought not only political unrest throughout the nation, but also the death of musical icons David Bowie and Prince, launching what seems to be existential examinations by some prominent artists.

There has emerged a theme throughout subsequent albums released across genres – a double entendre that has bound American music, art and poetry since the revolution – a cynical and haunting look at “the American Dream.”

The title track begins with a dreamy introduction with a snare backdrop that sounds much like a clock – it describes Murphy waking up from a night of sex and drugs, pondering his existence and worth in a mirror.

With an almost erie look to individualism a cornerstone to that dream, he examines the himself as the antagonist of his own life, “you suck at self-preservation,” describing the sadism he has created to live some momentary dream.

With roots placed more firmly in rock than the band’s past releases, the sound of the album is reminiscent of the production of indie-rock band Arcade Fire’s 2013 Reflektor, co-produced by Murphy.

“American Dream” delves into both themes of a post-Bowie world full of political unrest – with vocals reminiscent of the late Bowie and lyrics that echo a question of what the meaning of american life is.

Encapsulated by nostalgia brought on by age, Murphy looks back on his own lifetime and wonders if the American Dream is a reality or simply nothing more than a dream.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
LCD Soundsystem makes thoughtful return