Musings on music delivered when I dig myself out.

LCD Soundsystem -- LCD Soundsystem
DFA/Capitol Records; 2005

As a member of the DFA he's a wizard whose magical manipulation of knobs and switches reinvents entire bands. As LCD Soundsystem he's a snake charmer, cranking out hypnotically danceable singles that beg, no, command hipsters to shake what they don't have. On the massively-hyped, much delayed, and eponymous full length debut of LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy shows that he's all of the above and more.

LCD Soundsystem is not particularly bound to the dance punk Murphy helped to reinvigorate. In fact, few of the album's nine songs even bother with the genre. The songwriting is tuneful and instructive, relishing in moments of near painful simplicity that often expands to richly textured heights. "On Repeat" is exemplary of the tactic, as Murphy takes a two step shuffle and pushes it to wildly oscillate -- bemoaning modern punks all the while. The basement show anthem "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" kicks ass with a grin and no frills. Album closer, "Great Release" is majestic, with Murphy's voice radiating over the Eno-influenced piano/guitar hum clouds.

As if the tasty nine-tiered cake that is LCD Soundsystem wasn't enough to satisfy fans, Murphy tops himself off with his famously vitriolic and insightful lyrics. Varying from a haunting and dreamy coo to a shout, Murphy takes on the Great White Invasion of black music on "Disco Infiltrator," the spectrum of love on both "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up," and "Too Much Love," and the better portion of all indie rockers on "Movement."

With only one exception ("Thrills" doesn't live up to its name), LCD Soundsystem (and its bonus disc, which collects all of the group's singles) is an exceptional testament to James Murphy, both as a musician and producer. It's relieving that he’s not a one-trick-pony like so many other musicians these days, but rather a pack of snarling race horses (I mean that in the nicest way possible).

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