By Olivia Tobin
February 12, 2013
Two years after the massive debut release of LCD Soundsystem’s eponymous first album, fans speculated as to whether the band could produce an album of even equal quality to follow. Difficult second album anxieties prevailed but ultimately fans’ fears were unfounded. The band created possibly one of the most beautifully crafted dance albums of all time.
Sound of Silver is an album that should be treasured. James Murphy stunningly embraces the values of the punk music he grew up on, and combines it with the hedonistic beats of dance music, creating an accomplished hybrid. Each track is seminal and feels like a greatest hit. Murphy immediately silences doubters on the explosive ‘Get Innocuous’, in which he channels his love of catchy riffs into an addictive bass line, raising the bar for the rest of the album.
The listener is then taken on through an emotional journey, from the humorous twisted patriotism of ‘North American Scum’ to the melancholic feelings of loss and nostalgia that come in the form of ‘Someone Great’ and ‘All My Friends’. Murphy, poignantly, captures the universal heartbreak of loss through ‘Someone Great’, in which he simply “wishes we could talk about it”. Yet, he is at his personal best in ‘All My Friends’. Hailed by many as “the song of the Noughties”, Murphy does not disappoint. From the hauntingly beautiful minimalistic piano line, to the exhilarating vocal performance that culminates with “Where are your friends tonight?”, Murphy captures, acutely, the nostalgia of youth and the melancholy of aging.
The album closes with bravado. ‘New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down’, with a Lou Reed-inspired vocal performance, leaves the listener speechless. Sound of Silver is a timeless album. LCD Soundsystem brilliantly make intimate subject matter like alienation and personal loss universal, whilst simultaneously creating floor filling classics. A tremendous second album.