Becca Frankland revisited LCD Soundsystem's glorious second album 'Sound of Silver'.
Last updated: 28th Feb 2017. Originally published: 4th Feb 2016
LCD Soundsystem did everything right in the quest to bring a creative composite of dance and rock to the masses. The Grammy Award nominated Sound of Silver emerged in 2007 when the likes of Hot Chip and Klaxons were boldly exploring the crossover genre’s multifaceted exterior, whilst James Murphy had craftily carved a poignant, more mature, disco-punk masterpiece.
In an an interview with FACT, Murphy spoke about the silver colouring of the studio at the time of creating the album. It’s purpose to remind them of ‘shiny music’ like Heaven 17, T Rex and The Human League. Following on from the debut LP which he considered to be ‘safe’ and ‘beige’ - this was about to be anything but. Sound of Silver was and still is, sterling, bold and futuristic in its approach.
The album consists of nine tracks, none of which are poor. Unlike so many second attempts at creating a full body of work, this one does not fall short three tracks in. Each song brings something different, a new dynamic which disrupts the flow - in a good way.
It opens with ‘Get Innocuous’ (above), a track shaped by staggered synths and a sample of Kraftwerk’s ‘The Robots’. Like with other hugely successful and creative artists (Bowie being one of the most infamous), James Murphy is an expert at taking elements from outside forces and constructing a unique piece of art. Something he does throughout SoS.
It's with the melancholy-tinged 'Someone Great' (below) that we are given something utterly great. The bleeping, bubbling synths and captivating lyrics are topped off with blissful chimes. There's a lightness about the music that's juxtaposed against lyrics that appear to be about a lost love, it's a beautiful balance between hope and despair, but somehow through the music, hope comes out on top.
'All My Friends' churns up other emotions with its speedy piano and another set of resonating vocals. "If it’s crowded all the better because we know we’re going to be up late", Murphy sings, it's nostalgic but fun and digs up memories from yesteryears.
The title track is testament to their forward-thinking approach, everything sounds electronic, futuristic and polished. The squelchy bass, breaks and rippling synths partnered with with repetitive vocals make this the coldest song of the bunch, apt considering the metallic quality in the name.
The whole album still sounds ahead of its time, even in five years there's no doubt this will be fresh. The emotional pull of these tracks is what keeps them from wearing thin after numerous plays. Even when you think you’re sick of it, try again a few months on, the nostalgia and joy will make you fall in love over, and over again.