A decade in and this
“Sick for days, so many ways/ I’m aching now, I’m aching now.”
Ambitious, arrogant, regretful, boastful, unhinged, unfettered, messy, magnificent: Feel how you want about the man, but no other artist on Earth could’ve crafted this album in the year 2010.
“Disguising ourselves as secret lovers/ We've become public enemies/ We walk away like strangers in the street/ Gone for eternity.”
Commercial music with a mile-long independent streak; dance pop with a bleeding, broken heart; and proof—in an era where Billboard is ruled by the least common denominators (Katy Perry, Ke$ha, et al)—that “the mainstream” can still surprise and astound.
“And I never was smart with love/ I let the bad ones in and the good ones go but/ I’m gonna love you like I’ve never been hurt before/ I’m gonna love you like I’m indestructible.”
Some bands sprout, fully-formed; others refine and refine, none more than this
“But I won't follow you into the rabbit hole/ I said I would but then I saw/ Your shivered bones.”
1. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
Whether or not it winds up being James Murphy’s swan song, This Is Happening certainly feels like a culmination, an album-length statement where every song works, every moment flows, and every touchstone—from Eno to Kraftwerk, Detroit techno to Eighties electro, indie reserve to dancefloor abandon—builds to an overwhelming, epic whole. And in a year of near-equals, that’s enough to make this one stand out just a little bit more.
“Wish you'd try a little harder/In the tedious march of the few/ Every day’s a different warning/ There's a part of me hoping it's true.”