About two weeks ago, I saw James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) on 13th street and 1st Avenue. It happened quickly and I had no time to prepare (we were crossing the avenue on opposite sides with a yellow light) and all I said was "James Murphy!" and he turned and smiled.
That was it. He was probably confused. He probably thought I was some weird dude he went to high school with rather than an ardent fan of his work as LCD Soundsystem, but that's his charm. James Murphy doesn't look like a rock star and he certainly doesn't look like a guy who would be one of the most important and interesting names in dance music period. In Murphy's world fashion and music do not go hand in hand. It doesn't matter. I think that's why he makes great music.
LCD Soundsystem is often called dance-punk and while I'm not usually one for broad labels, that one actually works. What I love about Sound of Silver is that it is, first and foremost, dance music, but when you think of dance music you think of singles and not fully realized records. That's where Sound of Silver confounds. It is a fully formed dance record and as such it is sequenced to perfection from the opening salvo "Get Innocuous!" through the sublime middle of "Someone Great" and "All My Friends" right until the closer - Murphy's subdued and beautiful tribute of sorts to his city - "New York I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down."
I was a fan of the early LCD singles and, consequently, of the first record, but I feel like even those didn't prepare me for how clear and concise a record Sound of Silver was going to be. I immersed myself in it, initially and it was incredibly easy to do so. Records came and went that year, and I like a lot of them, but I kept finding myself going back to Sound of Silver. I think I related to it a bit. Murphy stares getting older in the face and spits in it. You don't have to just pack it in because you're not supposed to have fun in your thirties. Fuck that.
Here's the thing about Sound of Silver, as I sit here listening to it while writing this it's clear to me it's not positioned right. This fucking thing is a stone cold classic. I'm gonna be listening to this thing for weeks now. It's even better than I remember it and I remember it really fucking fondly. Unfortunately reordering and shuffling things around on the list isn't really in the cards right now. But if you're reading this know that I've made a huge mistake. And obviously it's "Someone Great" blaring in these headphones that's making me realize it.
I literally chucked everything I was going to say about the record to say this - it's probably a top 20. I'm embarrassed by it's placement on this list now. Sound of Silver fucking rules.