LCD Soundsystem’s “American Dream” is unique, hiatus-ending album

William Carrington, Staff Writer

Following their run of farewell concerts in 2014, including a four-hour appearance at Madison Square Garden, rock band LCD Soundsystem officially broke up. “We’ll do some 12’s and things like that,” lead singer James Murphy said in an interview with The Quietus in 2010. “I just need to get away from it being a big thing.”

On their hiatus-ending album, however, “American Dream,” released on Sept. 1, Brooklyn-based band LCD Soundsystem offers more of Murphy’s unique ideas paired with a new psychedelic rock sound. “American Dream” is LCD Soundsystem’s darkest sounding album yet; it is unlike any other of their albums before it. Full of quotable-lyrics, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200, a first for the band.

“American Dream” is more approachable than any other record that LCD Soundsystem has put out. By pairing odd lyrics reminiscent of Beck’s “Midnight Vultures” with a more psychedelic sound, similar to Tame Impala’s “Currents,Murphy has created an album that is easier for mainstream audiences to pick up and listen to. On songs like “Call the Police,” Murphy capitalizes on modern political ideas with lyrics such as, “The old guys are frightened and frightening to behold the kids come out fighting and still doing what they’re told.” While also remaining true to himself and his band, on “American Dream,” Murphy writes his most accessible lyrics yet.

While LCD Soundsystem still doesn’t create cliche radio hits, Murphy uses his feel for rhythm to build up every individual song differently, using interesting details along the way. Murphy layers his sounds for tracks that manage to feel complex and delicate at the same time. On songs like “Tonite,” Murphy layers his instruments over the entire song and shows his unique ideas in a way that we’ve never seen before. Nowhere before have his techniques sounded better than on this album and with this new sound.

“American Dream” doesn’t bring anything totally revolutionary with it, but it is my favorite rendition of this emerging genre of new-age and experimental rock. Its commercial success is an indication of a shift in LCD Soundsystem’s sound and makes me excited to hear what the band will release in the future.