Shortcuts – LCD Soundsystem

By Seth Mayer

LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem


Some claim the first disc of the two-disc set from LCD Soundsystem is an album and the second disc is a singles collection. But the fact is, this band doesn’t make proper albums and probably never will. New York-based LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled double disc set is the kind of music that comes on at parties with people wearing pretentious blazers and aviator sunglasses and gets them to stop discussing art films and vinyl long enough to shake their asses. James Murphy, the man behind LCD Soundsystem, knows how to steal techniques from the heroes of post-punk, while crafting perfectly structured songs that slowly build to a frenzy. His music is smart enough to satisfy the hipster crowd, energetic enough for rockers, and danceable enough for everybody else.

The songs on the first disc don’t end up cohering into any kind of an album, and the best moments on this disc don’t match the skillfulness and humor of the much-celebrated lead track of the second disc, “Losing My Edge.” Though it’s not as good as the second, the first disc alone is still well worth the price of LCD Soundsystem. The promise of some of their best known singles (such as “Yeah (Crass Version)”) aren’t matched on the first disc, but songs like “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” provide solid, well produced beats and witty lyrics that make the first CD more than enjoyable.

Intelligent dance music has become the name of the genre associated with groups like Dntel, but might as well be applied to more punk-influenced acts like the Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. This double disc set is some of the best, smartest, most danceable music you can find, even if it amounts to not much more than the sum of its parts.

— Seth Mayer