Saturday, August 18, 2012

Artist of the Day: LCD Soundsystem

For all of the dry wit and droll lyricism that marked his career as the man behind electro-punk LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy's love affair with music only lasted for three albums. But full of heartbreak, psychological analysis and enthusiasm, what an affair it was. Two of his works, Sound of Silver and This is Happening, are modern day masterpieces. The other, his debut self-titled album, is bitingly sarcastic and lustful for life.

When it comes to lyrical themes, Murphy ran the gamut. "Someone Great," elusive in its meaning, is rumored to be a mournful paean to Murphy's psychologist. But on the flip side of the same coin, "Drunk Girls" and "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" are essential party playlist tunes, self-aware and tongue-in-cheek flares of revelry. The DJ sings plaintive, electronic-tinged odes to his city, ("New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down") his friends, ("All My Friends") and even dotingly cobbled together 45:33, a running playlist for Nike.

He called it quits after releasing some of his best work on This is Happening, chock full of powerful and lengthy opuses, including bitter "I Can Change" and optimistic "All I Want."  Now just a DJ, Murphy released a live DVD titled Play the Hits. And two years after a six year journey into the psyche of a punk electronic musician, we still are. His most endearing hits are a strange phenomenon, defining a strange time in music, but also defying his own era's borders.

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