Regarding the new LCD Soundsystem album This Is Happening: Look, I can dig how everyone is into the album. It’s mighty catchy stuff. And I even like the guy’s music myself — his past two albums have been fun as hell. Plus, the good lord knows, I hate a hater. And people may say not to take it all so seriously. BUT in the spirit of this old post, I offer this session of “Wait a Minute, That Sounds Just Like That Other Song!” Let’s begin.
The whole album of This Is Happening reeks of Brian Eno/David Bowie, with Mr. LCD/Murphy copping Eno and Bowie’s love of epic-preparing-for-the-end-of-the-world mixed with dance-ability and and a dash of pathos, nowhere clearer than the guitar line on “All I Want,” which comes directly from the thin white duke’s “Heroes.” Also, both songs go on for a little too long, but that’s neither here nor there.
Yes, in that previous post about LCD Soundsystem, I claimed that Mr. Murphy was the new Lou Reed because a couple LCD songs reminded me of Lou Reed songs in an abstract way. Who knows, maybe he read that blog post (he did not read that blog post) and decided that he needed to be a little more, and like Buffalo Bill of “It puts the lotion in the basket” fame, set about making a Lou Reed skin suit. Because, despite an amazing video directed by Spike Jonze and “sign of the time” lyrics, the song “Drunk Girls” just mirrors the gallop of “White Light/White Heat” by The Velvet Underground, complete with the background singers echoing the song title.
Ooh, a wild card entry, New LCD vs. Old LCD! When “All My Friends” came out on the Sound of Silver album, the sound and chords and structure and whatnot were already not exactly new. For the new album though, he chose to reinvent the wheel one more time on the track “I Can Change” by slowing the tempo down and adding a few more electronic bleeps and bloops.
Sure, a lot of songs have used talking in their verses. But there’s no denying “Pow Pow” instantly makes you think of the David Byrne’s insistent, “You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack …” Somewhere, I’d like to think Byrne hears “Pow Pow” on the radio and thinks to himself, “Hey, this is not my beautiful song…”
This may be the most open and shut case of “Wait A Minute, That Sounds Just Like That Other Song” you could come across. “Somebody’s Calling Me” IS “Nightclubbing.” That’s it. If Iggy and Bowie (who co-wrote “Nightclubbing”) aren’t getting royalties from “Somebody’s Calling Me,” Murphy better just watch his mail for a letter from somebody’s lawyer.
Summation: Paying tribute to your favorite artists is one thing dude, but jeez. Next time maybe bite the bullet and just do a covers album? Or actually write new songs! All those LCD Soundsystem songs are awesome! And these are too, for the most part! It’s just weird how much you’re ripping off some of my favorite songs! Super weird!
Incidentally, I was at work today talking about music with a couple of my coworkers and came up with an idea for a podcast called “Adam Hates Your Favorite Song” wherein I just rant about popular songs I don’t like (we were discussing The Eagles and Aerosmith at the time) and point out why I think they’re terrible. So maybe look for that sometime in the future. But also maybe not. The future is mysterious!
posted by Adam