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“The only thing we can do now is get back into the studio and finish this record, and make it as good as we can possibly make it. It needs to be better than anything we've done before." In a Facebook post last year, James Murphy announces a controversial decision to reunite the beloved band after previously sending off their punk-disco beats with a farewell tour. Five mysterious years into the future and the pressure of following up an already nearly flawless discography later, American Dream is here in all its glory.
From the two previously released tracks, ‘call the police’ and ‘american dream’, Murphy announced his tone to be as a meditation on the haze that is adulthood, and as much as you’d expect him to be reminiscing about some by-gone youth that many rock stars try to reinvoke, he never really does. Instead, he takes a part-comic, part-poignant look at all the inevitable endings that haunt existence. And a lot of this meditation comes as a tribute to musicians that have passed away in the gap between LCD’s farewell and its rebirth – with Bowie’s presence being most notably felt, directing the last twelve minutes of the album in ‘black screen’.
Naturally, the reunion reworks all the former themes, with songs about songs playing an important part. But Murphy’s interests and anxieties have aged and they have done so in tune with darker electronics, distancing itself from the likes of ‘Drunk Girls’. When talking about music, LCD is at its most honest, processing raw emotions without hiding under any pretense. The record is nostalgic and bittersweet and full of growing pains, but, in Father John Misty’s words, that is what makes it miraculous.
“You get remarried to your ex if you fall back in love. You speak to your parents after vowing to never do so again. Or, you play with your band again." So, is it better than anything they’ve done before? We think it is.
American Dream is out September 1st.