LCD Soundsystem Reunites: Good Idea, Bad Idea?
LCD Soundsystem announced on January 5 that they will be recording a new record this year, officially confirming their reunion and damming the river of hipster tears that flowed since their breakup in 2011. It caused a stir of excitement among fans of songs that rend your heart as much as they make you shake your ass. Just the thought of James Murphy and friends grabbing life by the disco balls again is a good reason for busting out capital letters when writing that This Is a Very Exciting Thing.
But exciting or not, is it the right move for LCD Soundsystem to get back together? Is such speculation ultimately useless, as the answer to this question will be the new tunes that will blare out of stereos, amps, and car speakers the world over? Of course, but fuck it, let’s play a fun game of Good Idea, Bad Idea and gossip about this band.
Good Idea: They’re All In
Pat Mahoney, Nancy Whang, and all the other LCD members are back on board. This isn’t one of those Creedence Clearwater Revisited-style projects where a group’s reanimated corpse shuffles around during concerts with half of the original band and none of the original dignity. The heart of LCD Soundsystem still beats like an 808.
Bad Idea: This Could Fuck Up Their Legacy
For those who weren’t at LCD’s 2011 farewell concert at Madison Square Garden, the film Shut Up and Play the Hits offered a perfect farewell. The concert footage captured the group at the peak of their careers, the interview sequences offered insight into the band’s reasoning for calling it quits, and that closing scene where James Murphy breaks down crying while looking at the group’s gear before it gets sold off––holy shit. This reunion gives LCD Soundsystem a new start, but a new start is always an opportunity to shit all over the greatness that came before.
Good Idea: More Concerts
The band is a performance powerhouse. In Shut Up and Play the Hits, the filmed rendition of “Someone Great” contains all of the studio version’s emotional peaks and valleys. Those who missed out on the chance to discover how much pathos LCD could pack into a disco synth line have the opportunity to experience it for the first time, while everyone else can revisit those good times.
Bad Idea: Most Reunions Suck
Saying that LCD Soundsytem is now joining the list of other reunited groups such as New Order, Fleetwood Mac and The Sex Pistols sans Sid Vicious just isn’t a comforting thought, is it?
Good Idea: They Probably Won’t Screw It Up
Let’s just let James Murphy speak for himself. In the reunion announcement, he wrote:
“the only thing we can do now is get back into the studio and finish this record, and make it as fucking good as we can possibly make it. it needs to be better than anything we’ve done before, in my mind, because it won’t have the help of being the first time. and we have to play better than we’ve ever played, frankly. every show has to be better than the best show we’ve played before for anyone to even say “well, that was good. i mean, not as good as they used to be. but, you know. it was good.” we know all that. which is healthy for us, because it means we go back to war, like in the beginning. for us it was always war, but now it’s really with ourselves. maybe we have a chance to make it right.”
What if LCD Soundystem decides they need to give their live shows some extra special flare and decide to incorporate pyrotechnics, but can’t afford to hire competent special effects people so they get stuck with some contractors who use cut-rate, dangerous explosives that accidentally light an entire club on fire and hundreds die a la Great White oh my God that would be terrible.
I’m not saying it’s a realistic worry, just a worry.
Again, this has all been speculation. The only way we’ll know whether LCD Soundsystem’s reunion is a good or bad idea is once they start performing and recording once more. Until then, everyone will have to just bite their nails, listen to the group’s old hits, and wonder if the new material will measure up.