Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls

It was shortly after this that Murphy decided to get out of the bar mitzvah game for good…



[Video][Website]
[4.70]

Martin Skidmore: If you take away the electro sounds, rather in the background here, you have what sounds like a lot of tenth-rate early punk numbers. I don’t mind it, but as on their previous singles, I don’t get what makes them so special.
[5]

Spencer Ackerman: I’d like this 2010-glam-rock better if it edited out the lyric “drunk girls like to file complaints,” which is the sort of thing that launches indictments against LCD Soundsystem. It’s typically well-produced but repetitive to the point of boring.
[4]

Ian Mathers: Okay, who gave James Murphy the impression that: 1) “North American Scum” wasn’t really dumb; 2) anyone cares about his lyrics; 3) anyone wants to hear him ripping off Eno AGAIN (Before and After Science this time)? On the basis of “Drunk Girls,” everyone who embraced the middling-at-best Sound of Silver has a lot to answer for.
[2]

Alex Ostroff: “Drunk Girls” (like “North American Scum” before it) will get a lot of flak for being loud and immediate and shouty and dumb. And, admittedly, this is somewhat awkward and kind of obnoxious. But so is being incredibly drunk. And much like being incredibly drunk, this song is also a great deal of fun, and compels you to dance in an uncoordinated and unself-conscious manner, regardless of who might see you. It’s not “Someone Great”, but it is a damn good pop song.
[8]

Anthony Easton: The Stephin Meritt of Indie-Disco makes the shout out loud, heavy dancing chorus of the year. More fun than it should be, and like always it functions as a meta-deconstruction of disco, of dance music, of the pleasure principle, but the bisexual orgy of open signification erases all of that hard work. For the first time — maybe it’s LA — the self loathing, and the exhaustion, and the over work are less present, though the wicked wit remains.
[8]

Alex Macpherson: It’s somewhat depressing to think about the days of “Losing My Edge”, “Yeah” and “Beat Connection”. Looking at the bloated, dull, self-parodic rock band that LCD Soundsystem have become, it’s increasingly hard to remember how they once thrilled dancefloors with sleek, taut beats and mantras, tracks to which the natural response was somewhere between posing and dancing. You can do neither to “Drunk Girls”, which is even more hideous than one could have expected after the snoozefest that was Sound Of Silver. James Murphy clearly thinks that bellowing the title in the manner of a football fan vomiting over our shoes isn’t enough for us to get it, so the music mimics the clumsy, graceless motion of a beer-sodden tramp lurching along the pavement. Utterly indefensible.
[0]

Edward Okulicz: As my colleague Jessica Popper pointed out on Twitter, this is just the chorus of “Boys & Girls (Don’t Go)” by Fefe Dobson, padded to length, isn’t it? I don’t care about how important LCD Soundsystem are, this is a fundamentally boring rock track with energy but no purpose. And it sounds awful anyway.
[1]

Alfred Soto: Cannibalizing Blur’s “Girls and Boys,” cannibalizing himself on “North American Girls,” drunk on pheromones and bad lyrics (the one about drunk boys walking “like pedestrians” is great though) but hitching a ride on one of his classic distorted riffs, James Murphy is in love with rock and roll and modern moonlight. All that’s missing is a chorus of drunk girls shouting “Radio On!”
[7]

Chuck Eddy: I was thinking Bowie circa “Boys Keep Swinging”, then sundry dance-oriented-rockish one-shots that came out in Lodger‘s early ’80s wake, then Blur going for that same old new wave with “Girls & Boys” in 1994, then electroclash another half-decade after that. Ever-diminishing returns and gratuitous sound effects don’t help matters here.
[6]

Iain Mew: “Boys Keep Swinging” > “Drunk Girls” > “M.O.R.”
[6]

35 Responses to “LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls”

  1. Kinda surprised (but really not) at the LCD-backlash here, and the jury’s far from back in on This Is Happening, but “Drunk Girls” does make me seriously wonder why Murphy is apparently taking cues from 00’s-era Weezer.

  2. Alex Ostroff: And, admittedly, this is somewhat awkward and kind of obnoxious. But so is being incredibly drunk.
    No, a drunk is somewhat awkward and kind of obnoxious. Being drunk isn’t awkward or obnoxiousness in the slightest. “Drunk Girls” should be more like being drunk and less like being accosted by a drunk.

  3. Is it a backlash if I’ve been saying the last album sucks since it came out?

  4. Let’s be real, their first album mostly sucked and was saved by the bonus singles disc; Sound Of Silver had one good song and was otherwise DULL; if it wasn’t for the odd single or remix or side project like 45:33 to remind me of the quality of music James Murphy should by all rights be putting out, I’d have started ignoring LCD Soundsystem years ago. They’re just not an albums band. But what’s worrying is that Murphy seems to be under the impression that this “proper critic-friendly rock band” shit is what he should be doing. Because he is a moron.

  5. I dunno… I like this. I’d have given it a [7] had I had elected to hit the driving range with some friends last night instead of write this up.

  6. I don’t know what kind of dance floors Alex was frequenting. “Losing My Edge” made everyone leave the floor to get drinks.

  7. I don’t see how it’s that much worse than their legendary (or whatever) old singles, but then I never got why those were considered all that great to begin with — I’d give “Yeah” or “Losing My Edge” an 8, at most. So I wouldn’t say I was especially disappointed by this song, because I’ve never expected much out of Murphy in the first place. (And Edward, LCD have also never seemed at all “important” to me, even when they won Pazz & Jop a few years ago. People tried to explain back then why they were a major band, but I never got that, either.)

  8. But what’s worrying is that Murphy seems to be under the impression that this “proper critic-friendly rock band” shit is what he should be doing. Because he is a moron.

    I’m not fan on this song nor am I crazy about LCD (his songs vacillate wildly in terms of quality), but this statement strikes me as untrue and reactionary.

  9. sorry, I’m not a fan of… Talk about reactionary!

  10. Electroclash ones, Alfred.

    “Major band” sounds too pompous, but they’ve been excellent enough at their best to be worth paying attention to. And yes, James Murphy is “important”, whatever that even means, not necessarily for LCD Soundsystem but for the DFA label. Unless you have zero interest in 00s dance music.

  11. Tal, it wasn’t so much a dig at the idea of being a Proper Rock Band (well…much), more that the directions in which Murphy’s taken LCD Soundsystem demonstrate that he has little to no idea of what his forte is.

  12. His sales have grown exponentially since he started, his songs are featured in Ben Stiller movies, he’s headlining Coachella, and he wins critic polls. He seems to have a pretty good idea of what his forte is. He just doesn’t know what you think his forte should be.

  13. I mean, I’m with you that I prefer 45:33 to everything else he’s ever done barring Special Disco Version–but come on, he’s not beholden to our preferences and value judgments.

  14. For reference:

    Fefe Dobson “Don’t Go (Girls & Boy)”

    which I prefer to “Drunk Girls” (which I don’t hate, since I can definitely enjoy tenth-rate early punk numbers, but it’s only a 5 or 6). And here’s Fefe Dobson’s “Unforgiven,” which has nothing to do with this discussion, really, but I love it and want you to hear it (and I can quite enjoy tenth generation pop punk imitations).

  15. This Fefe Dobson song sounds a lot like what I imagine “Material Girl” would sound like if The Cars were the backing band. But yes, the resemblance is pretty close.

  16. This has the feeling of an irritating idea that the songwriter couldn’t shake. So you work it out, and sometimes it takes on its own irritating life whether you really life it or not. The video seems to acknowledge this kind of self-irritating quality.

  17. I’m not fan on

    And I’m not guevara.

    (Sorry, carry on, just felt like being absurd.)

  18. How exciting – my comments are being discussed and I didn’t even review this one!

  19. (Fwiw, I like the hook and the rattle-clatter on the “drunk girls” shout-out, but the song dies in the nonchanting and dies before it’s done.)

  20. “His songs are featured in Ben Stiller movies” – aim for the stars! Christ.

  21. …by which I mean he’s reaching an audience his earlier albums likely never did.

  22. And which means that his music affects enough people to receive greater distribution. Which isn’t to say that this automatically renders the music as more significant or better, but that if one were Murphy, wouldn’t that be a stronger indication that, hey, maybe what he’s doing and where his music is headed is in fact his forte, and what he should be doing, since it’s garnering a more positive reaction from a larger group of people?

  23. “His songs are featured in Ben Stiller movies” – aim for the stars! Christ.

    I mean, to be fair, it’s less of a Ben Stiller movie than a Noah Baumbach movie, and while Baumbach is consistently excellent, the audience for his films is probably smaller/equal to the audience for LCD Soundsystem. Zoolander fans are not lining up to see Greenberg.

  24. Correlating popularity with quality (or with what one “should” be doing) doesn’t really lead anywhere good, logically. I mean, why not tell every R&B act out there that they should get themselves some electro preset riff, a slathering of autotune and a will.i.am guest verse? They’ll get a hit! They’ll reach a wider audience! And that’s how we end up with Usher’s “OMG”. Which, like “Drunk Girls”, is complete dreck that should not exist.

    Anyway, you could just as easily ascribe LCD Soundsystem’s increased popularity to the natural life cycle of the hyped underground innovator act – it’s pretty common that later, inferior albums vastly outsell the music that act built its rep on.

  25. You’re shifting the discussion, lex, to what it is you want it to be about. You’re the one that said

    “But what’s worrying is that Murphy seems to be under the impression that this “proper critic-friendly rock band” shit is what he should be doing. Because he is a moron.”

    and then

    “the directions in which Murphy’s taken LCD Soundsystem demonstrate that he has little to no idea of what his forte is.”

    To the former, that he feels that he “should be making this kind of music” seems untrue, and that he is a “moron” because he doesn’t follow your criteria is reactionary. Which is why I said that it was untrue and reactionary. To the latter, the directions Murphy’s taken have received all the accolades and exposure I mentioned; so what other criteria aside from the reactions it produces–and, obviously, from his own intuition and judgment–should he base making his music on? And your answer is, ostensibly, “my own.” So let’s just say that you don’t like this direction in which his music is going. But that doesn’t make him a moron (and countless interviews seem to point in that direction, e.g. that he’s not a moron). And since his music generates mostly positive reactions and increased exposure, I could understand why he would believe it is his forte. I’m not correlating popularity with quality, but I could see how an artist would be lead to believe that the two are related.

  26. I don’t know what kind of dance floors Alex was frequenting. “Losing My Edge” made everyone leave the floor to get drinks.

    Bzzzzt.

  27. (A [6] for me, btw.)

  28. [8] for the video. [5] for the song.

    I have never quite understood the amount of attention and love he gets from the music media… his music is not bad at all but it’s definitely not worth of all the praise it gets. I dont know… he does seem to know his shit, lots of hip music in his collection and constant rebuttal of their influence in his own songs… is he the closest a music critic has been to becoming a rock star?

  29. I don’t know, the video just makes me want to watch the new Xiu Xiu video. And when you seem less affected than a Xiu Xiu video, you’ve got problems.

  30. The video is stupid unwatchable horseshit, somehow accentuated by the youtube commenter who said he likes it because he likes “rapey pandas.” Gross.

  31. Agree with Chuck on that. It’s mildly heartbreaking to see Nancy Whang involved in it :(

  32. is he the closest a music critic has been to becoming a rock star?

    Nope. Start with Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith, and Neil Tennant, and advance from there. More here:

    http://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=41&threadid=8217

  33. Also here, and here:

    http://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?action=showall&boardid=41&threadid=44258

    http://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?action=showall&boardid=41&threadid=38221

  34. Baumbach’s consistently excellent?

  35. Ok. Exaggeration perhaps. Greenberg was mild and not astounding, but accomplished. But ‘Kicking and Screaming’ and ‘The Squid and the Whale’ are two of the funniest and most moving films I’ve seen, albeit for totally disparate reasons.