It was to the pleasure of thousands of fans when LCD Soundsystem announced their reunion and planned to release a new album after 2010’s This Is Happening. The product of their revival is American Dream, a pristine, troubled grouping of tracks. Based on the title, it seems obvious what the album would entail, but the concept goes backstage of the sociopolitical turmoil in the United States and segues the internal conflict of a man living inside the twisted reality of our status quo, rarely deviating unsubtly into larger concepts. The album noticeably pays homage to several genre-paving musical acts of the 20th century, such as the Talking Heads and Brian Eno, including a bold closer nodding to David Bowie.
A glittering, astonishing “oh baby” opens the project. The song is brimmed with a nostalgic, uplifting chord progression and overall essence. Immediately thereafter, the tone of the album whiplashes into a middling, waiting-room purgatory – an underlying layer of tortured chaos. The emptiness of “change yr mind” details a melancholy letdown of aging and dreams of youth. The centerpiece of the album is the intense, agonizing and, at times, terrifying “how do you sleep?,” a melodramatic and apocalyptic recount of a destroyed friendship. The nine-minute track is perhaps the most outspoken, emotional and action-packed song the group has released to date.
The album’s second half moves into sociopolitical critique as one might have expected, with the antsy “tonite” dismembering the pop radio idealism of youth and sex that America superimposes, accompanied by the angst-fueled “call the police.”
Simply put, American Dream is an album of many influences and life experiences that could be said to mirror the tumultuous tone of America in 2017. But the album goes deeper than that. It passes a recount of experience and an accompaniment of moments of lyrical genius and respectable influences, into a world of detailed, erratic frustrations and intensely demonstrated emotions. It’s a reflection of a man’s troubled headspace in the troubled headspace that is America.