There’s two different versions of LCD Soundsystem. There’s the studio version, which is James Murphy going into a studio and working out his middle-aged anxiety with a bevy of instrumentation. That version has given us disco/punk/David Bowie-worshipping records like Sound of Silver, This Is Happening, and the post-retirement record American Dream. Then there’s the other LCD Soundsystem, which consists of an amazing group of musicians that come together and help James Murphy bring these odes to getting old and insignificant to life on a stage. That version gave us London Sessions and the retirement record The Long Goodbye, which was recorded at Madison Square Garden as a farewell to James Murphy’s long-running creative outlet.
Both versions are essential, and carry with them equal importance. The newest LCD Soundsystem album is called Electric Lady Sessions and it features the live musical family version of James Murphy’s songwriting outlet. As with the previous live records, Electric Lady Sessions shows a band in their best form and a music project that has no business retiring. At least not any time soon.
Electric Lady Sessions is a mixture of LCD Soundsystem’s musical outlet stretching from their 2005 self-titled debut to their comeback record American Dream from 2017. There’s also a mixture of covers that range from album opener “Seconds” by the Human League to Chic’s “I Want Your Love” to Heaven 17s political disco track “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang”. Of those covers, “Seconds” seems to fit the most within James Murphy’s musical canon, and the band hits their stride right off the bat.
Some of the LCD highlights here are “Get Innocuous” from 2007s Sound of Silver. The band holds nothing back, nor do they pare down the massive grooves of the studio version. This is sheer jubilant joy in music form. The American Dream track “Tonight” is put thru the motions as well as the band burns it to the ground and builds it right back up.
The beauty of this “live” greatest hits of sorts is that Murphy and his musical crew hold nothing back. Where 2010s live in the studio London Sessions felt a little small and compressed, Electric Lady Sessions feels like it’s going to bust at the seams. This is a record showing a band as hot, primal, and as relevant as they’ve ever been. Here’s to coming out of retirement, James.
7.8 out of 10