If this is indeed James Murphy’s last album (gasp!) with the dance-punk outfit LCD Soundsystem then This Is Happening proves to be a fitting and funky end to a wild ride. Honing a multitextured sound that runs the spectrum from irreverent to downright playful and celebratory, the band’s style stems from influences ranging from The Talking Heads to Blondie. Their latest offering does not dissapoint, offering another installment featuring all the similar pounding dancefloor tracks, introspective electroballads, slow smoldering buildups, raucous energy and absurdist humor that has come to define their musical aesthetic over the years.LCD starts the party early with “Dance Yrself Clean,” which accelerates with such haste around the three minute mark that the song title does not have time for any straggling vowels. The song steadily chugs along over a range of sparse percussion and booming synths chiming in every couple beats until exploding in a shower of keyboards and drums with Murphy encouraging everybody to “throw [their] little hands up!” The album does not really lag from there, with the same infectious energy carrying over to “Drunk Girls,” a boisterous and aptly-titled goofball track that serves simultaneously as one of the album’s lighter moments and the surefire radio friendly single. It is clear that This Is Happening is an album meant to experienced as a collective whole.With most tracks approaching close the eight minute mark it definitely does not fit within the norm of modern music releases — but that is alright since it nonetheless proves to be a rewarding experience for its listeners. This sentiment is embodied on the slow buildup and brazenly unsubtle track “You Wanted A Hit,” with Murphy giving a candid diatribe of the music industry. The onslaught of highly danceable tracks continues to the end with “Pow Pow,” and its cartoon onomatopœia-filled chorus, as well as “Home,” and its shimmery synths and woodblock percussion, being clear standouts. The collection of nine songs strikes with a sense of immediacy and urgency while still being somewhat transient — but LCD Soundsytem would not be ones to linger anyway.
Original Author: Samuel Gordon II