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CD Review: LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver

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With a tough, glossy finish, and a hearty dose of quirk, DFA dignitary, James Murphy, delivers fat danceability and wry cynicism to the latest LCD Soundsystem project, “Sound of Silver.”

Detached, electronic soundscapes come peppered with vocal flourishes, throwback rhythms and mod-futuristic notions. Catchy, robotic hooks are held in place by glittery beats, atop atonal clanging. Also, as it turns out, the sound of silver is a cowbell. I had no idea.

The record starts strong with droll samples and all variety of beeping flung smartly about “Get Innocuous.” We take a short ride on the false falsetto bandwagon during “Time To Get Away,” and “North American Scum,” explores some commercially palatable possibilities before coming back to center.

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“Someone Great” lights up like a Rubik's Cube, and echos of an 1980s arcade follow the xylophone as it chases the vocals through a sandbox. “Us vs Them” inconceivably discofies The Chamber Brothers, mates them with a David Byrne resonance, and pours the mix into a more cowbell/less music version of “Telegram Sam.” The title track -- replete with digital rain and sealed with a 10cc kiss -- is an exercise in repetition that conjures images of post-punk track shorts, possibly with rhinestones on them.

It is, however, the record’s unexpected caboose that proves to be the X-factor in determining its impending success. The final track, “New York, I Love You,” is a bombshell departure from the rest of the album -- simple, subtle, and quizzically soothing.

After a fifty minute parade of electro-styling and digital prowess, this full contrast, freshly starched, lo-fi lament appears as a heartsick resignation of grief, disenchantment and contempt without apologies, concessions or syrupy melancholy. This song is the ultimate seduction for anyone with an already aggravated nostalgia-problem or penchant for romanticized grit.

The record in sum is an unforeseen build to an unexpected climax, and the low noise of jet engine whooshing under the last track only adds to the excitement of escalating tension. Prepare for the feeling you get after watching a horror movie that tells you not to turn the corner because there might be a guy with a machete waiting to stab your guts out.

But in a good way.