LCD Soundsystem were a band fronted by singer/songwriter, producer and mastermind James Murphy and Sound Of Silver is by far their best album. It feels kind of weird describing them in the past tense, saying they were a band instead of are a band. It's also kind of a shame, since everything they did was pretty fantastic. But them putting out their absolute best and then breaking up is much preferable than them carrying on too long, releasing inconsistent albums and then creating uninspired drivel before finally fading into irrelevance and mediocrity. It's much better that they have such a fantastic discography. But to be honest, nothing can equal their 2007 magnum opus.
When it was first released, it was an instant classic. Critically acclaimed, loved and highly praised and you can definitely see why. The thing with Sound of Silver is that it manages to walk on familiar territory with such confidence. It's often reminiscent of artists that came before them - but they put a new, fresh, exciting slant on it and they manage to add their own personality and distinctive style to it. As you listen to it, you hear Bowie, you hear Eno, you hear Kraftwerk. You can hear a whole host of influences but unlike a lot of artists, LCD Soundsystem aren't simply plagiarising these artists and that's why it was such a critically acclaimed and widely respected album where its legacy will only grow with time. There's a fine line between regurgitating your influences to the point where it feels trite, derivative and dated and actually doing something interesting with those influences while putting a modern slant on it. LCD Soundsystem are always on the right side of that line. This is them at their best.
Everything about it is just so on the money. From the fantastic songwriting, to the immaculate instrumentation, to the fantastic production, even falsetto-heavy vocals are great which I think is an aspect of James Murphy's music he's had to work on. But I'm just guessing there. Except for the lyrics, the vocals are the weakest aspect of the album but they're still so strong. The lyrics aren't really the main focus of the album, they aren't why you listen to the album or the band. I read that earlier instrumental compositions of some bits that featured on the release 45:33 were re-worked and the lyrics were added to bits of it to create proper songs. Everything about it is just right. I was surprised just how many musical ideas came together and how varied the instrumentation was, you have vocals, synthesizers, percussion, drums, piano, bass, programming, guitar, drums, keyboards, bass, violin and they all come together so brilliantly.
I don't want to point out individual tracks because generally, it's not really my reviewing style. Though I occasionally decide to do track by track reviews, but it has to be said that 'All My Friends' is absolutely amazing. A truly incredibly and unforgettable song. One of the best ever written, but nothing else pales in comparison to it. This is where James Murphy's punk, pop and electronic sensibilities meet to create something wonderful. It has so many different styles on here which is pretty fantastic, ranging from alternative rock, to electronica, to post-punk, to dance punk, to disco, to krautrock. In LCD Soundystem's short career, this was their masterpiece. It felt like only yesterday that I first heard 'Daft Punk Is Playing at My House' playing a video game and now they're finished - but at least they gave us this. Sound Of Silver is most definitely one of the best albums of the decade, a true classic.
By: The Cunning Stunt