LCD Soundsystem // American Dream
Written by J.M
American Dream, the latest album from Brooklyn-based electronic rock band LCD Soundsystem, is the aural equivalent of Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" painting: melt-y and stark and portraying a left-of-center but not untrue look at the world.
The first album since LCD Soundsystem's disbandment in 2011, American Dream is a 68 minute slow burn that puts 80s new wave on top of modern electronic rock and blends the two together with somber, no-punches-pulled lyrics that force the audience to confront uncomfortable realities. The length of several of the songs - especially "black screen" serves as a stretching of time through musical interludes and only adds to the simmering sensation of the album.
While the entire album could be considered a societal reflection through individual introspection, the songs that demonstrate this most powerfully are "american dream" and "black screen." In one of the first two released singles "american dream," James Murphy sings, "Find the place where you can be boring / Where you won't need to explain / That you're sick in the head and you wish you were dead / Or at least instead of sleeping here you prefer your own bed, come on / You just suck at self-preservation / Versus someone else's pain / So you feel drained / And insane / And insane," articulating the helplessness and fatigue that so many have been feeling in recent months.
Meanwhile, "black screen" delves into the way technology can numb out vulnerability and pain: "You couldn't make our wedding day / Too sick to travel ... I meant to get to you / On the turning / Things sneak up on me / Like a landslide comes / Been saving email trails / Kept together / I read them back sometimes / To remember / The time I wrote to you / From the island / Your quick replies / Made me high."
American Dream captures the same bittersweet sentiments that the best LCD Soundsystem songs often do, though the album veers toward outright bleak and melancholy in a way that previous albums haven't. This is a solid album that fans and new listeners alike should be excited for, and that doesn't disappoint after the years-long lack of new music following the band's split.
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