"Present company? The best that you can find."
So speaks the one man band that is James Murphy, the man behind the mask of LCD Soundsystem, in his latest release. When you first hear an album this heavy with beat and hook, its easy to dismiss the lyrics. If you do though, you are doing yourself a disservice. When I first heard that line of the first song, the impossibly danceable "Dance Yourself Clean", I thought he could mean a couple things in this.
One being that the song is surrounded by an entire album full of incredibly well-executed tracks. From the single and alternative booty-shaker "Drunk Girls", a repetitious anthem to the new trademark of the club scene, to the new wave ballad "All I Want", each song is well-crafted and absolutely guaranteed to get your body moving. This continues through to even the last song, "Home", the soundtrack to a long walk to your own place after a really, really good night. Becoming a near-perfect mix of dance and punk, mashing in the best bits of disco and techno, it's not a sound easily replicated.
Another possible meaning could be that as a musical act already getting their songs covered by Franz Ferdinand and Velvet Underground alumni John Cale, or maybe even being nominated for that little old Grammy, Murphy has finally got to be around the people he admired when he first got into music: the cool kids. His first real shot at fame was the 8 minute long ode to hipness in "I'm Losing My Edge".
Yet with this album, supposedly his last under the LCD title, it seems a third answer is where it's at. Maybe Murphy has made music so clever, so catchy, that the man who is a party every he goes has finally invited all of us. It seems that with "This Is Happening", LCD Soundsystem has made the entire place a dance hall, and for once, everybody's cool enough to get down.