[sic] Magazine

LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

Said to be LCD Soundsystem’s last record, ‘This Is Happening’ is a masterful record – an album, in the days when an album is an outdated concept, a obsolete way of pushing music as a cohesive work where we’d all rather just have a few MP3s instead of the whole thing. ‘This Is Happening’ is the sound of someone making brilliant, fun music with an intelligent perspective and a boatload of equipment. The songs on this – averaging at least seven minutes – are coiled springs, dense with rhythms and melodies that build and fall, rise and pound, with nods to the elegant arpeggios of Kraftwerk , oodles of brilliant words that mock established convention, swathes of guitar and keen, able percussion creating a thick, but never overcrowded aural soup. At 70 minutes, it’s a strong, solid length that ventures into familiar territory, and adds another new and vibrant dimension.

Bowie comparisons are obvious – not just in the lyrical stylings, breathy short vocal lines, and instrumentation, as well as lashings of Byrne and Eno . Imagine the imaginative work of Bowie 76-80, updated to today, and with slightly less po-faced misery and you have LCD’s awesome work. Tiny bleeps and bloops – childlike in simplicity and durable as a bulletproof vest – leak over every second of this album.

‘Drunk Girls’ is ‘White Light/White Heat’ covered by Bowie. End of story. Not that that is a bad thing. ‘All I Want’ takes the droning whalesong of ‘Heroes’ and makes it modern and now. ‘I Can Change’ has probably the most brilliant synth line you’ve ever heard. And ‘Pow Pow’ ends (Sort Of) on one of the most well used expletives in music history.

And then there is the best titled song on the record ‘You Wanted A Hit (But We Don’t Do Hits)’ which grandly lays out LCD’s raison d’être. To follow your own nose and see where that smell goes. Every song is epic in length, style, in long and intricate melodies, and hammers home the old adage of Joy In Repetition, and what joy there is. If this is a end point, then at least they left us this, a record that will live longer than us; a fabulous mesh of man, machine, and magnificence. This record makes me dance in my head, laugh in my guts, and smile on cold mornings. ‘This Is Happening’ is what our realities are – the here, the now, the world and the moment in front of us. Carpe Diem.



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