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LCD Soundsystem:: Sound of Silver (Album Review)

The second album from New York uberproducer James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem project is every bit as smart, funky, and literate as its predecessor. Party-starting dance music indebted to the driving percussion of early-’80s New York acts like Liquid Liquid and ESG, the pneumatic thud of house music, and the arch, modernist pop of Brian Eno or David Bowie circa Heroes. If you don’t know the reference points, it really doesn’t matter: “Someone Great” is the sort of delightful, dazed disco to rank amongst Ladytron or Goldfrapp’s best, surfing a six-minute wave of woozy keyboards, acid blips and tapped xylophone, while “Us Vs Them” is a combative punk-dance march built from aggressive cowbells and splinters of funk guitar. But the clued-in will get an additional kick, both from James Murphy’s hipster humour (“Take me off your mailing list,” he wheezes, on the weary “New York I Love You”) and the myriad reference points wired into the machinery of each song: see the tongue-in-cheek ‘North American Scum’, the sound of Fatboy Slim’s ‘The Rockabilly Skank’ rewired by industrial terrorists Throbbing Gristle. Making music ‘intelligent’ so often kills its rump-shaking appeal, but Sound Of Silver does its thinking on the dancefloor.