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LCD Soundsystem “American Dream” album review

Six years ago, after their farewell performance at Madison Square Garden, the world bade goodbye to the post-punk, synth-pop stylings of LCD Soundsystem. Their eclectic and emotionally charged presence was missed until last May when they released two singles, and another came out in August. Then, on the first of this month, came the long awaited “American Dream.”
Those who had no taste for mindless SoundCloud rap or larger-than-life pop stars could once again take refuge in the percussive beats and electronic melodies of James Murphy and company. However, listeners would find that the long-awaited reunion didn’t produce songs of celebration, but rather ones of emotional and societal reflection. The adored sound had returned, but the tone had changed.
The opening track, “Oh Baby,” sets the album’s tone. It’s a song about the end of love and the singer pleas for his beloved to “lean into [him].” The irony is that an album which could be seen as a new beginning and rebirth for the group focuses primarily on endings.
“Other Voices” continues the message, speaking about the end of friendships due to words left unsaid, with “Your head like a block / Stuffed with unwritten letters to some / Far away friends.” The speaker’s experience becomes tragic, and the floodgates are opened on an already emotionally-uneasy album.
The other tracks make no exception to the tone of the first two, as they continue to delve deep into the feelings of ending with references to the loss of musical giants such as David Bowie and Leonard Cohen in the past few years. Also, the title track waves goodbye to the American Dream, as it too vanishes into history, along with love, friendship, and icons.
“American Dream” is an elegy for the things once held so dear that slipped through our fingers, eluded preservation and made us feel. The return of LCD Soundsystem is long awaited and heavily-welcomed.

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