LCD Soundsystem: Amy Kimball (violin); Jane Scarpantoni (cello); Tyler Pope (bass instrument); James Murphy (bass guitar); Marcus Lambkin, Eric Broucek (hand claps); Morgan Wiley, Lorenza Ponce, Pat Mahoney , David Gold , Justin Chearno, Nancy Whang.
Personnel: James Murphy (vocals, guitar, piano, Clavinet, organ, synthesizer, glockenspiel, drums, percussion, electronic percussion, programming); Pat Mahoney (vocals, drums, percussion); Eric Broucek, Nancy Whang (vocals); Tyler Pope, Justin Chearno (guitar); Lorenza Ponce (violin); David Gold (viola); Jane Scrapantoni (cello); Morgan Wiley (piano).
James Murphy is well-known as half of the New York-based production duo DFA (who have lent their distinctive touch to songs from artists as diverse as Gorillaz, the Rapture, and N.E.R.D.). Aside from creating the modern template for indie dance music since the early 2000's, Murphy has been busy writing music under his solo moniker, LCD Soundsystem. His sophomore effort, SOUND OF SILVER, picks up where the debut left of, expanding an already diverse set of influences and honing the songwriting craft into a thematically cohesive whole.
As wryly noted on LCD Soundsystem's debut 2002 single, "Losing My Edge," in the underground music arms race, aging hipsters are losing ground against young upstarts who are (perhaps) unaware of their own influences. And if influences are the stuff with which post-millennial musicians are made, Murphy has trumped us all. Touching on reference points ranging from disco, krautrock, Bowie, house, and post-punk, to singer-songwriter types, SOUND OF SILVER is a veritable catalog of left-field cool. Leading off with the slow-boil, hypnotic opener, "Get Innocuous"--which sounds a bit like a reprise of "Losing My Edge" crossed with Kraftwerk's "The Robots"--the album moves from dance-floor stormers to plaintive piano numbers without batting an eye. On "North American Scum," Murphy lampoons the often mistaken idea that LCD Soundsystem is a U.K. act; his nasal vocal echoing Jonathan Richman as he declares "for those of you who think we're from England--we're not." As humorously self-effacing as he is, SOUND OF SILVER also shows Murphy's growth as a songwriter. On the album's closer "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," he laments the passing of the old New York, "To the cops who are bored once they've run out of crime/New York you're perfect don't change a thing." It's a fitting tribute that holds up against the countless other great songs written about the Big Apple.
Rolling Stone (p.81) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[S]omehow it all holds together as an album, and by the end, ex-indie-rocker Murphy comes full circle, returning to his roots..."
Rolling Stone (p.108) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "All over SOS, rhythms turn into hooks and hooks turn into beats, until there is no difference between the two."
Spin (p.98) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "The scene-stealing 'North American Scum' creates tension with Murphy's observant verses, then releases it through wiggy choruses."
Entertainment Weekly (p.60) - "While SILVER delivers terrific buzzy dance-space jams, it also contains wispy hints of New Order and Bowie." -- Grade: A-
Q (p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he rhythms here sound tighter and more intensely focused, Murphy's presence as a songwriter and frontman is a revelation."
Alternative Press (p.194) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "'Get Innocuous' opens the proceedings with an electro-groove that's mechanical and soulful..."
The Wire (p.51) - "LCD have created a facsimile of a bygone pop ideal, and Pygmalion-like, invested it with a life of its own."
The Wire (p.37) - Ranked #5 in The Wire's "Top Ten Records of the Year 2007 -- "LCD Soundsystem's second album built on their familiar propulsive funk blueprints, with a tip of the hat towards Kraftwerk-style electronic textures."
Q (Magazine) (p.82) - Ranked #18 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2007" -- "[S]hape-shifting punk-funk that never goes quite where you expect it to."