Verdict – 9.2
The second album by dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem, led by lead singer and producer James Murphy, attempted to find a balance between the vintage rock/punk Murphy loved so much, and the dance sound he was trying to build. Their self-titled debut was good, but this is better in every way, and is as good a dance album you’ll hear, and as good as an indie rock/punk album you’ll hear. Mainly themed centrally on growing up, the acceptance of adulthood, and the come-down from all those years of being a reckless, drugged out youth. From the first song, which sets the tone brilliantly, the album doesn’t let up and really doesn’t waste any time.
Murhpy’s song making and writing are at a career high, and his lyrics and songs feel more affecting, fun, humorous, relatable and poignant than ever. His vocals are perfect for the songs, his punk yelps and general vocals during the songs are backed up by the production incredibly well. North American Scum is a tongue-in-cheek sarcastic viewpoint on North America, to which they are very proud to be from, and saying they really don’t need other’s generalisations of the continent, they know it themselves. (New York’s the greatest if you get someone to pay the rent… And yeah, I know you wouldn’t touch us with a ten-foot pole, ‘cause we’re North Americans.) Following that are two of the best songs of the decade, Someone Great, an effortlessly melodic, simple and touching song about dealing with the loss of a loved one. Although ambiguous, through the poignant lyrics it is likely to be about death rather than a relationship, but everyone has their opinion. The lyrics are honest and true, as Murphy is still in shock, “The worst is all the lovely weather, I’m stunned it’s not raining. The coffee isn’t even bitter, because what’s the difference?”
The next is the album’s best track, All My Friends, the lengthy ode to youth and friendships, against responsibility. The monotony of the piano riff and bass-line echoing the repetitive and boring lifestyle of responsibility set to great lyrics. Murphy is saying it isn’t all the A’s on projects and achievements that define your life, it’s the experiences with friends, and all the mistakes, bad decisions are what define a person. Highlighted by the lyrics, “You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan, and the next five years trying to be with your friends again… I wouldn’t trade one stupid decision for another five years of life.” Other album highlight and closer, ‘New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down’, is a great song stating his love-hate relationship with New York. (Like a death of the heart, Jesus, where do I start? But you’re still the one pool where I’d happily drown.) The ending is exciting and thrilling, and closes the album perfectly.
The album is brilliant, and maybe on first listen, it may pass you by slightly unnoticed, but in time, Sound of Silver will grow on you. A true classic, and one of the most inventive and exciting records of the decade, this album sounds good wherever you listen to it. From the beginning to the end, Sound of Silver is near perfect.
Top Songs – Someone Great, All My Friends, ‘New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down’