Monday, November 25, 2013

Sound of Echoes

It's funny how one good album can send you back to another. I recently bought Echoes by The Rapture as part of a 4 for £10 deal in Fopp (along with albums by Santana, The Stills and Mew), and one of the first things I thought of upon hearing it was Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem.

This isn't a huge surprise; the album was produced by LCD mainman James Murphy and released on the DFA label, which he co-owns. So a little LCD-ness was probably inevitable, even if Echoes was released 16 months before the first LCD Soundsystem album.

But the similarities go beyond the NY dance-punk sound that these acts share. Both Echoes and Sound of Silver kick off with an extended dance track (Olio and Get Innocuous!) before moving onto something more straightforward (Heaven and Time to Get Away). They both have slow numbers (Open Up Your Heart and New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down), they both have raucous lead singles (House of Jealous Lovers and North American Scum), and they both have plenty of rhythm.

However, Sound of Silver does have one thing that Echoes doesn't, and it makes a pretty big difference:

Not just All My Friends, mind you, but the life-affirming long-formers with which Sound of Silver is littered. After House of Jealous Lovers - just as you're really hooked on the album, and ready for The Rapture to reel you in - you get hit with a string of numbers that are just angular, danceable funk by the numbers. Sister Savior, Killing, Echoes...these tracks are good on their own, but they kind of blend into one on the album.

Meanwhile, LCD Soundsystem are pulling out show-stopping ruminations on death and getting older like Someone Great and, yes, All My Friends. Echoes is less mature (a quality that may be forgiveable on account of its having been released earlier), more fixated on love, its good bits, and its dark side.

So while they do have their similarities, Sound of Silver strikes me as the kind of album that will stick around forever. Echoes...doesn't, so much. It's a helluva house party, but doesn't have the staying power of its cousin.

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