The cynical pioneers of the indie dance-rock movement, LCD Soundsystem push a wild, yet essential, mix of guitar-driven alternative and club-ready discotronic tunes. Their third album, Sound of Silver, is a more mature installment, which means less-surprising as their past efforts, but they still clamp down a "silver" version of their signature sound. Runaway electronic organs, thumping drum kits, and distorted say-alongs fill a hell of an effort at keeping the dance momentum going.
Sound of Silver is a small amount of long songs, so it flows more as a whole since there are less breaks in between songs. It begins with an off-kilter piano and pattering drum sound in "Get Innocuous". Occasionally adding instruments like a fuzzy string riff, and distant throaty vocals, it’s a cloudy but interesting way to start. "Time To Get Away" is a Murphy sing/say chill funk song that chimes into a higher refrain. The rock-heavy first third of the album continues with "North American Scum" that’s a distorted self-take on North America on an electronic rock song that uses a light beat and yelling before plunging into tornadic climaxes.
The next couple of tracks start off more electronic then get rockier and more increasingly danceable. "Someone Great" is a foggy, subdued keyboard showcase over a quick, tapping beat. It never particularly elevates and just cruises along at the same level of effort. "All My Friends" is a 7.5-minute repetitive slamming electronic organ and thumping beat with some of Murphy’s clearest lyrics. It gradually builds into what’s ultimately a passionate analysis of his sociality. "Us v Them" is a cowbell-laden semi-anthem with a jungle beat that will surely bounce the dancefloor.
The last third of the album is more along these lines, with a mix of elastic beats and rock grooves. The most notable track is "New York I Love You", a down-trodden piano ballad that evolves into a wailing, crashing guitar jam ode to the new Rome. It’s an attention-grabbing way to end the album and ensure that it’s complete.
Their ground-breaking past releases have put LCD Soundsystem, especially James Murphy, into the dance-rock spotlight if for nothing else scrutinizing the surrounding scene. With Sound of Silver, they continue to push the scene – not as richly, but steadily nonetheless. It’s not as gold as some of their past work, but silver’s still damn good.