ALBUM REVIEW: LCD Soundsystem - London Sessions


DFA | 11.05.10 | ITUNES


81 — [Rating Scale] [Stream Entire Album]

Over his five-year run, LCD Soundsystem has earned a reputation as one of the premier live acts out there these days, performing its unique brand of electronic punk with vigor and restlessness. Fronted by the legendary James Murphy, London Sessions, an exclusive new live album, is an illustration of James' formidable flair for putting on live shows, offering a looser, free spirited variety of his recordings. Recorded on one day in June, the album gathers repertoire from all three LCD Soundsystem records, including his first ever single, “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” and forgotten B-side “Yr City Is A Sucker.” As a whole, London Sessions strives off its rawness and its rough around the edges instrumentation, particularly benefiting from Murphy's gauche and nonchalant vocalization.

Recorded much in the fashion of “Peel Radio Sessions,” London Sessions summarizes the very essence that is LCD Soundsystem. Beginning with 2007's likable disco-punk anthem “Us Vs. Them,” Murphy crafts these radio sessions more delicately than he would on stage, jamming often, repeating hooks and progressing sluggishly. The album was recorded entirely with live instruments, everything created in Real Time and absolutely nothing revamped with computers. This vibe is carried throughout London Sessions; on fan favorite “All I Want,” the keyboarding and electronic melodies aren't neat and tightly packaged like its studio counterparts, on “Get Innocuous” the melodies are slightly askew, the synth resonance refurbished, and Murphy's vocals slightly dim in comparison to the grand orchestration.

I Can Change” is the one song that sounds completely redressed; with a considerably slower pace and heavy echo on the vocals, it sounds like a different song all together. Murphy's influences in classic rock n roll and funk are expressed on 2005's “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” Murphy displaying the widest range of vocal inflection. It's Muphy's proficiency as a live performer that makes London Sessions a must have for any true LCD Sounsystem fan. The recording is available only until Dec. 6 via iTunes.