American Dream is the fourth album from New York electro rock band LCD Soundsystem, and their first after a seven-year break. While there are plenty of interesting ideas going on, none of them sound that original or exciting.
Opener Oh Baby is a repetitively melancholic synth swirl, with frontman James Murphy delivering theatrically emotional lines such as “Please shake me from my lovesick patient dream”. The title track also has this dreamy feel, with both tracks proving to be highlights, but the other songs on American Dream become a less emotive, and far more formulaic and stagnant.
Other Voices has the kind of groovy bass line and drum pattern you might hear from Friendly Fires or Arcade Fire’s more recent output, with Murphy’s voice being more plaintive.
The expansive chords of I Used To fit nicely with the rolling beat and synth bleeps, but again, feels a little one dimensional, and doesn’t amount to anything more than a neat idea which lasts for almost six minutes.
And that is the main issue with this album. Change Yr Mind is rhythm heavy with guitar scratches, How Do You Sleep and Emotional Haircut have a distinct Joy Division meets David Bowie vibe, and Tonite has all the geek-pop of Hot Chip, but all of these songs have no real structure, and repeat endlessly until they become boring. Call The Police has a bit more bite, but lacks originality, sounding like a song by The Horrors or Pre-occupations.
Despite all the hype, LCD Soundsystem’s return can be summarised by one of Murphy’s own lyrics - “I’ve got nothing left to say”.