LCD Soundsystem, Holy Ghost!

Frontman James Murphy's been pretty adamant in saying that This Is Happening, LCD Soundsystem's third disc, will also be its final. Seems somewhat tragic, given just how great an effort the album truly is. Then again, perhaps that's what makes the disc such a treasure—especially considering that, within it, a similar duality is at play. Sure, the music is impossibly catchy and certainly danceable—par for course for LCD—but, whereas Murphy's always employed a certain amount of bile in his lyricism, this one sees him a little more toned down, and, well, perhaps a little depressed. "All I want is your pity," he pleads over and over again on a song that liberally borrows from David Bowie and Brian Eno's co-written classic "Heroes." But the album's not so much a depressing listen as it is a revealing and lyrically provocative one. Murphy's putting it all out there—his emotional baggage, his heartbreak, his disappointment—but hiding it behind happy backing tracks to provide a biting social commentary on what it means to grow up hip. As such, though This Is Happening may prove itself something of a downer upon multiple listens, don't expect Murphy to acknowledge as much in a live setting. At earlier tour stops in support of the new disc, Murphy's been leading dance party-like showcases filled with balloons and revelry. Murphy may be hurting these days, but he sure doesn't want those who don't care to find out about it to realize as much.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman