A sleek melding of soul, disco, techno, Eno-esque ambient, gospel, and hi-NRG electro.
Like endowment mortgages and the international claims of Stan Collymore, the spate of ‘event’ dance albums released in the early-to-mid 1990s, now seems like a curious, era-specific fad.
A sad state of affairs, when you consider how genuinely provocative and thrilling records like Leftism, Dubnobasswithmyheadman and Haunted Dancehall sounded when they first appeared, and, indeed, when you see how timid and creatively backwards the subsequent lad-rock counter-offensive proved.
The ascent of James Murphy has dignified the plight of ageing hipsters everywhere, however. This long-neglected demographic may not be able to cane it like they used to do (in some cases staying awake past 10.30pm may even prove a stretch) but dismiss their nose for a good tune at your peril. And in Murphy, they’ve finally found the long-hoped for heir who has redeemed their fallen blood-line.
The Sound Of Silver, LCD Soundsystem’s brilliant second album, has taken up a handy position in the race for 2007’s record of the year. And, unlike the vast majority of its main rivals, it benefits from actually sounding like a wiry, nervy, soulful and propulsive product of its times. 45:33, originally released in download only form last year, is the sketch book that preceded the masterpiece.
You have to admit a grudging admiration for the counter-intuitive wise-ass who came up with the idea of inviting Murphy to record an accompaniment to a fitness workout (presumably the same person is now readying to approach Martin Amis for a reading at his local mosque), and, while the knowledge that 45:33 comes to us sponsored by Nike may stick in our craws, the fact that it so obviously laid the foundations for SoS’s heroic triumph makes it forgivable.
Because, in its sleek melding of soul, disco, techno, Eno-esque ambient, gospel, and hi-NRG electro, you can clearly hear Murphy (most explicitly on an instrumental version of ‘Someone Great’) work through his ideas.
Never having endured a ‘workout’, I haven’t the faintest idea if the ebbs, flows and crescendos of 45:33 mirror the dynamic of the real thing, but I’m willing to take the big guy’s word on it.
He’s earned our trust.
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