Saturday, October 14, 2017

Song of the day

"I Used To", by LCD Soundsystem.
Curse you, James Murphy. There I was, all feigned uninterest, ho-hum, whatevz, meh about this whole new-LCD-album thing. I had snarky things to say about the first of the "preview" tracks, "Call The Police". (Viz: I don't mind that he got the band back together; it's just a shame that the band was U2.) There was no way I was gonna cave.

But all of that lasted about as long as the first opportunity I had to buy the record. I caved.

The thing about Murphy is, his instincts have always been good. That, and his reference points, which obviously he wears on his sleeve, are almost always around 95 per cent the same as mine. (To the extent that one of the songs is called "Other Voices", which, aside from also being the title of one of the songs on my Cure album of choice, was the name I belatedly gave to the radio show I did in the latter part of the 1980s.)

That, and he knows how to craft a tune. Let's just say, there are many recent records that I have listened 20 times as often as I have played "American Dream", perfectly good records all of them, but in respect of which none of the songs have managed to find their way into my subconscious; whereas a few short weeks in, I am already being woken up at three in the morning by the songs on "American Dream". A few of them haven't yet broken through the roll-call of influences to become their own songs. (For example, "Change Yr Mind" still seems to come from a not-all-that-alternative universe where Brian Eno wrote "No One Receiving" for Talking Heads to record for their "Remain In Light" album, while David Bowie's "Lodger" was playing in the room next door. (Actually, it is pleasing to report that the ghost of "Lodger" is all over this record, because I no longer feel like I have to whisper the fact that it has always been my favourite Bowie album.)) But they will. They always do. Heck, even "Call The Police" has gotten completely under my skin.

What can I do? I surrender.

Getting the band back together was, it should have come as no surprise at all, a work of (that word) genius; a masterstroke.

Let’s just listen to "I Used To". Somewhere in there is a Roland Jupiter 4, an instrument I have had experience with: possibly one of the least manageable, most user-unfriendly synthesisers known to man. So that's a thing. But, and I can't believe that I am saying this: man, if ever a guitar solo could be so perfect that it actually makes the song, it is this one. There. My credibility is shot. Like I said, curse you, James Murphy. You win this round.

Album of the year? There's no point teasing out the suspense. Yes.

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