Electronic rock outfit LCD Soundsystem return with their third live album, Electric Lady Sessions, capturing the raw energy of their performances during a momentary pause on their tour last year. The most striking thing about any of LCD’s releases is the interplay between James Murphy’s often dark, lamenting lyrics and the uplifting, exhilarating, dance your ass off vibe of the instrumental sections. Murphy’s music suggests the necessity of enjoying life by viscerally reminding you of its transience.
This new album is no exception; announcing the release in a Facebook post in January, Murphy describes that the band were passing through New York on tour and wound up heading to the studio to make the recordings. Murphy also alludes that Electric Lady Studios, where this took place, saw the production of David Bowie’s ‘Fame,’ the first 7” record he purchased.
Electric Lady Sessions serves as a kind of nostalgic tribute to Murphy’s musical past, with songs from his LCD Soundsystem’s previous two albums sandwiched between newly released covers of The Human League’s ‘Seconds’ and Heaven 17’s ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang,’ which start and finish the tracklist, along with Chic’s ‘I Want Your Love’ The Heaven 17 cover is particularly impressive, featuring lively vocal harmonies between Murphy and keyboardist Nancy Whang. The song’s groove and high-tempo contrast with the heart-rending sway of the preceding ‘oh baby’, concluding the album on a lively note.
Aside from these covers, Electric Lady Sessions offers nothing new, which Murphy is aware of. Like with LCD’s first live album, London Sessions, Murphy takes a moment with his fellow band members to appreciate what they have done, releasing the live compilation simply because he can. Some do benefit from a live reimagining – ‘Home’ stands out with more vibrancy here than in the original – while others seem unchanged, even a bit lacklustre. Electric Lady Sessions fits right in amongst the rest of LCD Soundsystem’s work as a homage to the good times.
Image: Matt Biddulph via Flickr