Friday, January 28, 2005

LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsytem

Punk Funk...Disco Rock...Disco Punk...Rock many labels and so much hype, but could the debut release from James Murphy (aka LCD Soundsystem) really be all that is was hoped it would be? The answer is a resounding yes...AND THEN SOME!

It's been a long time since LCD's trio of singles Losing My Edge, Giving It Up and Yeah (which are all thankfully included on the bonus CD with the album) but the long wait for the album has been well worth it. This is dance music, without conforming to the stereotypical features that make most of that scene seem passe. At times sounding like Talking Heads, at times sounding like Soulwax, at times sounding like Pink may think that the sheer wealth of reference points would overshadow the project as a whole but there is the opposite effect. This sounds so fresh and new and never feels derivative.

There is no way of picking out the essential or best tracks from this Double CD as pretty much all of them are destined to stick in your brain for days, then weeks, then years. This is quite simply a must have CD from a man more interested in producing genuinely exciting and exhillarating music than by the notion of being cool and/or "hip."

Icon's View - 5 out of 5 - ICON CLASSIC.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning

No, don't worry. This is not some kind of Watership Down thing. Bright Eyes is the alter-ego of Conor Oberst who, if one believes the press, is the new Bob Dylan. Is he? I don't really know, but what I do know is that with this album, he is certainly one of the best singer-songwriters around at the present time.

Largely acoustic, and probably to be filed under "Alt-Country" this is, quite simply, a delightfully delicate album which really defies any ready classification. From the opening monologue, where an international traveller is facing the last moment of his life in a plane heading for a crash, this is meaningful and affecting music at it's most simple. Some critics have argued that the album is not simple, but merely simplistic, but to me this is missing the point. This is music making stripped down to it's rawest form. It's unadorned, naked, and beautiful.

Tracks such as "The First Day Of My Life" legitamtely make me cry, which surely emphasises just how soulful (in terms of soul-searching) this album is. Throw in some old fashioned country rockers (much like Johnny Cash would have done) and you have an album which demands to be listened to again and again .

Icon's View - 5 out of 5 - ICON CLASSIC