For subscribers to the 1st church of LCD Soundsystem faith was lost on April 2nd, 2011 when the band played their last show. Dubbed the “best dance funeral ever”, the concert later became a feature length film called Shut Up and Play the Hits. Mastermind James Murphy created one of greatest bands to play indie-dance music combining drum pads, synths, and a plethora of other electronic instruments our generation has seen. “It’s the end of an era its true” holds more weight than I think James Murphy could have imagined with he wrote “Dance Yrself Clean” for LCD Soundsystem.
In the summer of 2013 a faint glimmer of hope for LCD practitioners appeared in the form of Museum of Love. LCD’s drummer Pat Mahoney teamed up with Dennis McNany to start the new band Museum of Love, which currently records with DFA records (James Murphy’s own record label). With the release of “Down South” in the summer of 2013 it seemed for a while fans may be able to relive a fraction of the LCD glory days. After a short lived jubilation, a great deal of postponement and anticipation swirled the release of the self-titled album, until a couple of weeks ago when it finally dropped.
The album features many characteristics of the indie- dance pop genre, utilizing prominent synth lines, up tempo drum beats, progressive melodies, and shifting elements to create a contemporary 80’s pop feel. “Down South” and “In Infancy” off the beginning of the album provide a good start with up tempo drum beats and catchy synth lines. Despite the catchy rhythms, the lyrics don’t seem to connect due partially to the fact Mahoney’s lack of vocal range, the emotions seem less authentic.
When tracks get slower and sadder they connect more with the audience. Mahoney’s sullen low toned voice clicks perfectly with the beats and rhythms on the songs “FATHERS” and “Monotronic.” “FATHERS” plays at tragic complacency of some people’s lives and when the listener hears the subtle “They were just along for the ride” any eerie sense of what comes of lives unfilled washes over the ears. During “Monotronic,” a constant beat keeps emphasis on the lyrics and when “I wasn’t made for this much happiness” rings out through the speakers a real sense of loss and confusion resonates somewhere deep down.
The self-titled album gives a couple great dance party tracks, but Mahoney doesn’t quiet have the vocal skills of the likes of James Murphy, and for many LCD fans it simply can’t compare to Sound of Silver on the whole. The album establishes Museum of Love in the ranks of current dance music performers, but they don’t have a differentiating facet or distinction to their music to separate them from the pack. The album shouldn’t be simply brushed off because it’s not LCD nor will it be praised as one of the great albums of the genre.