Why is LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
It’s rangy and genre bend-y. It’s electronic and lounge-y and rock and dance-y and then it’s an ethereal kind of something else.
What does LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I’ll be totally honest: LCD Soundsystem is a musical outfit that I have not yet spent as much time with as I would like to. But the more I hear the more I like, and even more importantly, the more I hear songs I’m familiar with again I tend to dig them all the more.
I really enjoy that LCD Soundsystem is kind of hard to pin down. There’s a lot going on that’s both rangy and genre bend-y. It’s electronic and lounge-y and rock and dance-y and then it’s an ethereal kind of something else.
My hook into this album is a wild and propulsive song called “North American Scum” (and see more about this song below in the pop culture-ish section). It’s got a driving beat and sort of talky, vaguely rap vocals, and it all culminates with the rather strange, rather exuberant exclamation, “We are North American scum!”
It reminds me quite a bit, in a very complimentary way, with Beck’s mega-weird, sort of wonderful “1000BPM.”
“Time to Get Away” is a dance-y, funked up affair with an opening beat that could practically introduce a rocked up dance number from No Doubt. The vocals ricochet from Prince-ish falsetto to a sing song-y thing that makes the operation feel casual and approachable. The best part in my view is how spare and stripped down the production is. You can hear every note of the keyboard clearly, making for a slightly odd and exciting experience.
“New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down” (incredible song title, by the way) is a much slower, more melancholy affair, almost singer-songwriter in construction. It slowly builds and becomes as engaging and compelling as the faster paced songs on Sound of Silver.
And as a New York native and one-time New York City resident, I can firmly say that this is a perfect song lyric:
New York, I love you but you’re freaking me out
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver
There was a TV show that ran on Showtime for about five seasons called The Affair. It’s kind of a mystery at times, but more often is a romantic drama about the titular affair, with an episodic gimmick where half of an episode would be told from the perspective of one character, and then it would switch to another. This gimmick never really worked for me, particularly because in the Roshomon-like retelling, there would be obvious and purposeful factual differences between the narratives that simply didn’t make sense.
The Affair starts off intriguingly enough, perhaps in part for me because it largely takes place in the early going on my homeland of Long Island, New York – though to be fair I grew up in the very suburb-y suburbs of western Suffolk County whereas The Affair concerns itself with Montalk, the playland of the rich, and those who serve the rich. It’s also intriguing because of the pedigree of its cast, especially Dominic West (he of The Wire fame) and Maura Tierney (she of ER fame). Also, Brandon Fraser shows up at some point in a remarkably creepy and unsettling role as a prison guard.
Anyway, it’s the kind of show that I kept watching even though I stopped really liking it. Sometimes we just need to ride the train until it gets to the station, you know?
I mention all of the above because there’s some latter season episode where West’s character goes to some very rich person’s house for reasons that I can’t recall and don’t really matter. What does matter is that he decides to get very drunk and very high, and hops into the fancy indoor pool.
And then LCD Soundsystem’s “North American Scum” pops on and it becomes one of the more interesting episodes in the series. It’s a song that pairs really well with a party and with a slightly disorienting or disassociated mood. Anyway, it’s a great scene among a few draggy end seasons of a show that I will gratefully never need to revisit.
Some stats & info about LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Electronic Music, Dance Music, Alternative Dance, Indie Electronic, Indie Rock, Rock, Rock Music
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #433
- All Music’s rating – 5 of 5 stars
- When was Sound of Silver released? 2007
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #915 out of 1,000
LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.