Friday, April 29, 2011

James Murphy: Greenberg Soundtrack

If you're anything like us, the weeks following LCD Soundsystem's final shows have left you a tad bereft about the band's demise. In search of solutions, we stumbled upon last year's Greenberg soundtrack, which not only features a new LCD track, but original music by James Murphy.

"Original music" more often than not indicates instrumental work (see: Britt Daniel's work on Stranger Than Fiction), but Murphy's tracks almost all feature vocals, and have a nice unified feel. Murphy has noted that the tracks sound "nothing like LCD", but we'd have to disagree. While much of the electronica and carefully crafted beats are absent, it's impossible for Murphy to remove his fingerprints from the project.

His plaintive vocals are so distinctive, that hearing them anywhere immediately gives the music a certain flavor and direction. What's more, Murphy's love of asynchronous beats is evident throughout, and his penchant for droning piano riffs makes an appearance more than once on the tracks. Granted, much of the instrumentation is more organic and acoustic, but the writing is unquestionably Murphy's.

While the Greenberg soundtrack isn't a new LCD record, it's certainly worth your while. Not only does it give fresh perspective on James Murphy's songwriting, but it also lends new perspective on all the individual elements that he manages to combine in his architecting of LCD's distinctive sound. Long story short: if you're in LCD withdrawal, we may have found you some methadone.