American Dream – Cassette // CD // DD // Vinyl
Colombia // DFA Records – released September 1, 2017
Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner
James Murphy – Vocals & almost everything except…
Pat Mahoney – drums (tracks 5, 9), vocals (track 9)
Nancy Whang – vocals (track 2)
Tyler Pope – bass guitar (track 4)
Al Doyle – piano (tracks 3, 9, 10), Korg PS-3100 (tracks 3, 9), guitar (tracks 6, 7), vocals (tracks 7, 8), Yamaha CS01 (track 3), snake guitar (track 4), cello (track 5), bowed mandolin (track 5), congas (track 5), Synare (track 6), vocoder controller (track 6), Roland SH-5 (track 6), Korg Delta (track 7), Oberheim OB-3 (track 8),
Gavin Rayna Russom – arpeggiated Roland Jupiter-4 (track 5), Korg MS-20 (track 9), Oberheim SEM (track 9), vocals (track 9)
Korey Richey – vocals (tracks 2, 7–9), snaps (track 8)
Matt Shaw – Yamaha CS-60 (track 1)
Riley MacIntyre – snaps (track 8)
“Oh Baby” 5:49
“Other Voices” 6:43
“I Used To” 5:32
“Change Yr Mind” 4:57
“How Do You Sleep?” 9:12
“Call the Police” 6:58
“American Dream” 6:06
“Emotional Haircut” 5:29
“Black Screen” 12:05
Japanese edition and digital re-release bonus track
“Pulse (v.1)” 13:42
“American Dream” is LCD’s first studio album in seven years. (The last was 2010’s This is Happening.) This is also a reunion album after the split in April of 2011 after their farewell concert at Madison Square Garden.
LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden, NYC in 2011
American Dream is the second longest studio album by the band. It is also the most polished sounding of the band’s releases. “The album’s lyrics deal with depression, social issues, fear, and ending of friendship and love.” The sound is also is a mix of Dance, Disco, New Wave, Punk, Synthpop, and Rock. (Like a mix of their past albums with a refinement of the sound mixture that James has since made his own)
“Oh Baby” – Starts off with a constant metallic clang and layers are slowly added in, like drums and a bass synth, after a minute we get the first words. “Oh Baby” despite up tempo beats the song becomes melancholy. He asked to be awakened by his lover.
“Other Voices” – This track is very Talking Heads-y; the bass line is very funky. “Your still a pushover for passionate people” is one of the phrases that is repeated throughout the track
“I Used To” – Is another Talking heads sounding song.
“Change Yr Mind” – A strange mix of some industrial sounding beats a dance bass, the bellowing of an out-of-tune guitar tones and post-punk vocal delivery.
“How Do You Sleep?” – A drum pattern and arpeggiated synth make this song a dreamscape with the vocals a little more drawn out with an almost loud howling from the distance. This track has a different vocal cadence and that is varied from James Murphy’s normal flow. As the track progresses so do the layers build to another dance freak-out.
“Tonite” (My favorite song) – Now for the Grammy winning song… We get an 80s bass synth. The song has a very Giorgio Moroder sound.
“Call the Police” – This has a dream pop feel to it and it was also the first single.
“American Dream” – This also has a dream pop feel to it.
“Emotional Haircut” – Has a post-punk feel to it.
“Black Screen” – Is a mostly ambient track with vocoded vocals.
“Pulse (v.1)” – Is an instrumental that wouldn’t sound out of place on 45:33
This album is my favorite from the band. It is a mixture of everything James has done in past albums and polished it to what I feel is the perfect example of what LCD Soundsystem is… Everything is here, the rhythms, the hits, the experimentation, heartfelt lyrics. So if this is your first exposure to the band this album is a great place to start.