The sound here keeps sending me back to the primitive electronica and new wave of my yoot, and indeed I think what’s happening with LCDSS here is somewhat similar to what happened with Eno in the 70’s and the Talking Heads in the 80’s: There seems to be some ambivalence over whether to create soundscapes or songs. Sound of Silver felt more soundscapey to me; this new one feels a bit more like songs. So if you prefer Another Green Day to On Land and More Songs about Buildings and Food to Remain in Light, then you’ll prefer This Is Happening to Sound of Silver. Me, I’m in the both/and camp on all counts, though I do not like this record nearly as much as I liked Sound of Silver.
Unfortunate: Photos of the band members and the recording studio on the album sleeve. Unfortunate: Videos featuring the charming/nerdy band members. These are bad signs. A big part of what’s worked for me with the LCDSS has been the sense of the music’s impersonality, the sense of it issuing from a construct, from an always-already-depopulated clean room somewhere in Loisaida. Now that the music is being made by personalities, I imagine the party will very soon begin for them–SNL, Letterman, whatever–but end for me.