Thursday, April 01, 2010

Song of the Day: "All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem

So, the fact should be pretty clear to most people who know me that I am a very big fan of LCD Soundsystem. I am also a very big believer in the song "All My Friends." By believer what I mean is that I consider it the best song that was released in the past decade, and actually the best song released in a timeframe that is significantly larger than a decade. It's been a long time since a song was as paradoxically epic in scope while being appealingly intimate. The song begins with a piano loop, and slowly but surely bass is added, followed by drums, synth, vocals, and finally a guitar. LCD leader and DFA czar James Murphy sing-speaks a song about regret, the loss of youth, becoming mature, and still trying to remain close with those friends that have helped you along the way. And there are, of course, those little speckles of rock music name dropping, but its subtle, and not over-the-top. The song's placement in the album is pretty key as well (although it stands up insanely well on its own, too). It follows "Someone Great," whose key refrain is, "when someone great is gone." The question posed by "Someone Great" is the nearly unanswerable, "how do you deal with loss?" Murphy posits that friends are the way to cope. This isn't a song of false nostalgia, it's one of poingant regret at wrong turns taken and paths left unexplored, but finding solace in life's failures in those around you who have always been there. The lyrical realizations are mirrored in the music, as the song builds in volume and intensity for nearly eight minute until a near climax that ends with Murphy shouting, "if I could see all my friends tonight" with startling earnestness. I have heard this song called, "sex without cumming," and her point is well taken. But then again, I think that's sort of the songs goal. It's all tension without release...kind of like the way life in general is. The song's structure is a reflection of the fact that, all things considered, life is a lot of buildup and tension, without much of a chance for release. Well, maybe that's taking things a bit too far. But, unassailable is the song's power and poingancy. It's a truly amazing achievement. (Click for video...)Well, I was going to post a video of them doing the song live in Manchester. But, I can't embedding is disabled by request. Hot damn. So, click the link anyway. I thought about posting the album version, but Alex Taylor's guitar sounds too damn good in this version to not share it. 

LCD Soundsystem- "All My Friends" live in Manchester

Also, Franz Ferdinand and John Cale also did some fabulous covers of this song that are definitely worth the two or three minutes to track down. Great great stuff.

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