Wednesday, March 14, 2007

song of the week: all my friends

okay, so James Murphy isn't strictly all of LCD Soundsystem.
But he might as well be.

I promise you, my heart popped into my mouth listening to the new LCD Soundsystem album, Sound of Silver. Clean, smart, subtle and beautiful, it has been a struggle to settle on which song I'd pick for the week. The closest album experience I can relate it to is the first time I listened to Beck's Odelay; goosepimpley and excited and like I've just stumbled upon something weird and valuable and pretty. As this is my blog, and I can write whatever I like, I can't talk about the song of the week before first mentioning Someone Great, also on Sounds of Silver. It's like The Human League made a baby with Talking Heads. I missed my stop on the tube when I first heard it; I was spellbound.

I've actually tried to resist choosing All My Friends, because it's almost too easy - this is immediate heart-racing dance music, it needs no time to creep under your skin, being one of those rare songs that you listen to and feel like you have known for years. But I guess this song is Sound of Silver's Daft Punk is Playing at my House; iconic and unforgettable without being overblown and klaxon-screaming. I have a feeling it's the song they'll use to soundtrack montages of beautiful sunkissed teenagers on boyfriends' shoulders at Glastonbury this year or they could stick it on the end credits of some glossy Sofia Coppola flick.

Yes - in fact, that's exactly what All My Friends sounds like. [big rant coming up] It sounds like Death in Vegas's Girls before Sofia Coppola trashed it by playing it behind the extra features section on the Lost in Translation DVD. Or her depressingly vacuous use of The Jesus and Mary Chain's Just Like Honey in the same, gorgeously filmed, emotionally empty (and not in a good way), desperately overrated, waste of the godlike Bill-Murray, piss-poor indie flick. There, I said it. Lost in Translation is rubbish. The fact is, Ms C, your films are some of the most exquisite looking around, but then, so are Dave LaChapelle's, and his music videos are only 3 minutes long, so take a hint, and give some slouchy indie band a call, and keep your damn hands off my music.... Oh, and while we're on the subject, you do know it's your fault Air are crap now, don't you? [end rant]

With an opening that sounds like Steve Reich quarrelling with Bruce Springsteen, All My Friends stretches out into a (now, don't take this the wrong way) lo-fi Killers-esque anthem, which as everybody knows, roughly translates into a barely disguised U2 rip-off. But, and herein lies the secret, there is never any soaring guitar riff, no stadium-shaking handclaps or loud/quiet/loud breakdown. Instead, it's just an intense mix of stabbing piano, disco hi-hat and winsome keyboards, with lone electric guitar squeaking, mixed way down in a style that draws more inspiration from Sonic Youth than The Edge. There is no heraldic climax, just a compulsive, hypnotic blur falling into a blistering fade out. This is well considered, complex but yet emotionally immediate dance music, and frankly, there are very few people as good as this.


At 15 March, 2007 07:53 , Anonymous emmie johnson said...

Cool post. It was really a great read.
emmie johnson


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