LCD Soundsystem // This is Happening


James Murphy knew that after the accolades of 2007’s Sound of Silver, there was no need to fix what wasn’t broken. Not that LCD Soundsystem’s This Is Happening mirrors its predecessor or adheres to some kind of formula. But at least there’s no one-upmanship going on here — he’s just doing what he does and he does it well. “Dance Yrself Clean” opens sounding like Pacific Northwest indie rock with nasal-toned inflections, backing vocals, and witty lyrics. Three minutes into it, heavy beats fall like hailstones and distorted synths barge the party. While the tongue-in-cheek “You Wanted a Hit” wryly lampoons the expectations following Sound of Silver, “Drunk Girls” actually bestows such a hit with a buoyant and bouncy tune that moves with catchy melodies, sidesplitting lyrics, and hard-grooving rhythms commanding all kinds of late-night dance-floor tomfoolery. It’s hard to tell if Murphy is making fun of slick Euro-disco or embracing it on “One Touch” and the Eurythmics-inspired “I Can Change” but what’s brilliant is that these songs can be enjoyed both ways.

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