2007-08-09 - 11:49 a.m.
Five months late, but I finally got around to listening to the most recent LCD Soundsystem album, and I like it.
Somehow, James Murphy takes a genre (electro-pop, for lack of a better weasely rock critic term) that I’m not crazy about, and makes it smart and emotionally engaging. This is due mostly to his songwriting, which is better than it needs to be for music like this, and his presence as a singer. He doesn’t have great vocal chops but he really uses every inch of what he’s got to express himself.
The insistent “Watch the Tapes” is this year’s “Daft Punk is…” and “Someone Great” could be a lost New Order track. “New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down,” a funny/sad ballad sung in a vulnerable, talky style pitched somewhere between Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman, speaks for so many.
And in the same church, if not quite the same pew, we’ve got New Young Pony Club’s new record, ten tracks of retro-Rough Trade synth-punk. The songs aren’t amazing, but their whole vibe is great if you miss bands like Romeo Void and Delta 5.
Did you know that Jonathan Franzen released a memoir almost a year ago? I sure didn’t, but I started reading it this morning, and it looks like it’s gonna be good, if I can get over this resistance to non-showbiz memoirs. Sure Franzen’s a great writer, but he’s no Jack Klugman.
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