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LCD Soundsystem - Give It Up 7"

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Artist: LCD Soundsystem

Album: Give It Up 7"

Label: DFA

Review date: Jan. 21, 2003

A Tough Act To Follow

LCD Soundsystem caused a row with their first 12" single, 2002's "Losing My Edge," on the New York label DFA. James Murphy's lyrics lampooned indie-rock insiderism, which is really like hitting a dinosaur with a kickball at two paces, but his was a very insightful take, and many noticed. The music was also great, that timeless type of minimal machine-soul, and it didn't hurt that all of the other DFA releases to date - by The Juan MacLean, Black Dice, and The Rapture - had been equally smart and interesting, if not as sarcastic. So "Losing My Edge" got quite a bit of press, mostly favorable, and left everyone waiting for more.

Their second release, a 7" entitled "Give It Up" b/w "Tired," is out now. The format, as with "Losing My Edge," plays directly into the traditions of the music on the record. 7"'s are for rock 'n' roll and 12"'s are for dance music, and while one could cry pragmatism (dance tracks are longer), Murphy rarely forsakes the opportunity to make a reference. This release sounds more than anything like the Fall, but then again a lot like Kleenex, I mean DNA, but hold on because with those synthesizers maybe I should say Klein & MBO or Throbbing Gristle, but with a freak-out of a B-side which sounds like the Stooges plus the Red Krayola. Yet as hard as I try to define LCD Soundsystem by their most recognizable influences, there are simply too many to chase down on a single track, let alone overall. The styles embedded in these two new songs are as numerous as the bands Murphy humorously namedropped on "Losing My Edge." Overall, though, the songs on "Give It Up" are less electro and more rock, less rigid elektronik-funk and more bass/drums/guitar/Mark E. Smith vocals.

But without a clear textuality that music critics can easily interpret by

Writing out the / Lyrics like so

this single will undoubtedly create less controversy and generate less interest than "Losing My Edge." It has words but won't speak as readily to listeners. Murphy's full, tight, post-punk sound is fun, but far less exciting and focused than what other bands on his label are doing right now. I don't mean to dismiss this record as a failure, because it's too smart and well executed not to have merit, but any band this promiscuous with genres has to be mighty lucky or brilliant to remain coherent. I found myself enjoying this record, but immediately looking forward to the next Black Dice release.

By Ben Tausig

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