I only started listening to LCD Soundsystem a couple months ago, but they quickly became one of my favorite musical acts. The impassionate singing, songwriting, and production from James Murphy all combine to make something truly special. He manages to make every song feel distinct and unique, whether it be soft or hard. Narrowing my favorites down to ten was a project, but I did it. Let’s begin.
#10: “Christmas Will Break Your Heart”
We don’t get as many sad Christmas songs as one would expect. While it can be a joyous time for many, others are reminded of terrible feelings and events that happened around that time in the past. Murphy described this song as “a depressing Christmas song I’d been singing to myself for the past 8 years.” The soft piano and drums really complement the somber mood of the song, and the climax reminds me of someone breaking down after complementing the song’s descriptions of loneliness, aging, and seasonal depression. An emotional song, indeed, and a great return after a long hiatus for the group.
#9: “The Great Release”
From one great piano song to another, this song has a great buildup. The funeral-esque piano combined with the lyrics illustrates someone leaving this Earth. Murphy’s emotion is on display again, including the simple “da da da” ending.
#8: “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House”
Simply put, this song is fun. The description of a house party that somehow got Daft Punk to perform (although the narrator could be lying to get people to show up) is wacky. The energetic beat and singing also emote the feeling of partying, I think. I’ve never really been to many energetic parties. I’ll go to one once someone gets either Daft Punk or this song on the speakers.
#7: “Drunk Girls”
Speaking of parties, I’m sure people get drunk at them. As this song’s chorus (which reminds me of Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat”) implies, three girls get drunk and one boy does at a time. Alcohol can be a monster, which this song does show. However, the juxtaposition of that serious topic with the fun beat once again illustrates a party mood, I think. I’m not into alcohol, don’t judge me!
#6: “All My Friends”
LCD Soundsystem knows how to use the piano. You’d think that this song’s constant piano playing would get annoying, but it doesn’t at all. Murphy’s lyrics here are some of the best I’ve ever heard, describing the process of reconnecting with old friends. I’m sure many people can relate with this, so this song should hit right at home.
#5: “how do u sleep?”
This song has some of the best buildup I’ve ever experience in a song. The drums from Pat Mahoney in the beginning set the mood, then the beat begins halfway through, then that beat gets more complex and powerful as the song goes on. It’s just outstanding. James Murphy seriously doesn’t get enough credit as a songwriter, singer, or producer.
#4: “New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down”
The piano and guitar are in the spotlight here, as well as some more amazing lyrics. Similar to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication,” this song shows that an area where many want to make it may not seem all that great. New York sounds great on paper, but you need to take into account many factors like paying rent, taking cabs, and trying to make the best out of a bad situation. However, there still exists a spark of child-like wonder that makes one still love the city. Nostalgia is a powerful tool, and it can make all of these problems worth it in the end if you stay happy in the face of them.
I just adore the beat to this song. Again, you’d think it would get annoying, but it doesn’t! More passionate singing is found here, this time talking about the issues of being with a woman who’s only in it for the sex. The highlight from their debut album is a key example of why it’s their most energetic release.
This Grammy-award winning song is one of the catchiest I’ve ever heard. The simple, repeating beat provides a good backbone to this track, and the singing once again is phenomenal. This was actually the first song by LCD Soundsystem that I’ve ever heard, as it played on MTV U one day in the cafeteria. I was entranced, and I quickly became a fan.
#1: “Someone Great”
This song is perfect. Dealing with the aftermath of losing a loved one is never easy, and it can warp your perception of the world. That feeling is described perfectly here. In addition, the beat is one of the most hypnotizing ever, complementing the song perfectly. Listen to it if you haven’t already.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: “Dance Yrself Clean,” “Losing My Edge,” “Too Much Love,” “North American Scum,” “oh baby,” “One Touch,” “Time to Get Away”
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