LCD Soundsystem - 45:33
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LCD Soundsystem

Originally released last year as part of the commissioned Nike Original Run series, LCD Soundsystem's 45:33 provided James Murphy a chance to veer outside his usual boundaries a bit and explore long-form musical creations. Labeled a "disco-symphony," the piece was incredibly successful, and nearly six months after its iTunes-exclusive engagement ended, it's finally available in another format (for the loser-types like myself who didn't want any association with the shoe company).

Fortunately, the buyers of the CD release of this album-length track are greeted with a little bonus. Not only is the original track included (and split into six nicely-segmented pieces), but the release has been extended and fleshed-out with two new songs and a remix that improves on an original. The track for which the release is titled is a massive, sprawling thing that was constructed to mimic a running cycle, and it works pretty well in that regard. The first three minutes (here broken off as track "I") find accelerating synth lines speeding into a playful piano line. That piano melody carries over into the second section, which locks into a playful gait and introduces some breathy vocals like "You... Can't hide your love away, from me!" The track slides by with a smooth, disco-house feel, and then morphs subtlety into the next section.

That next part will be recognizable to fans of the group, as it was edited down a bit (along with having vocals added) and became the excellent "Someone Great" from this years Sound Of Silver. It's also about this time on 45:33 where the tempo gradually starts to crank up, and by the fourth section it's pumping with a horn-laced space disco groove that's fun as heck. Over-the-top female vocals mingle with shimmering synths and a swerving rhythm, and then it shifts direction completely.

In fact, the last two sections both change up dramatically, with "V" racing through almost nine minutes of rock-oriented clubby dance music full of horns, vocodered vocals, and backwards loops. "VI" is completely opposite, falling off a cliff into effervescent ambience, and it's a nice comedown after the steady build of the rest of the release. As if that weren't enough, the goofy, twelve-minute "Freak Out/Starry Eyes" is one of those repetitive, mid-tempo grinders that Murphy can seemingly churn out in his sleep (yeah, it's not his best, but it's still pretty darn fun), while the Onanistic Dub mix of "North American Scum" completely improves on the original, turning it into an acid-laced analogue burner that blows away the over-the-top antics of the album-version. If you already have the original download from last year, there isn't a ton here that's really alluring, although the three bonus tracks are all pretty good in an of themselves. If you haven't yet heard this one, its by all means time to pick it up.

rating: 810
Aaron Coleman 2007-12-13 20:32:09