RSS
LCD Soundystem bids farewell: A critical roundup
The devoted electro-rock band says goodbye with an epic sold-out show at Madison Square Garden
 
Vocalist James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem played their final concert Saturday at Madison Square Garden, opting to disband at their creative peak.
Vocalist James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem played their final concert Saturday at Madison Square Garden, opting to disband at their creative peak.
Corbis

On Saturday, LCD Soundsystem, the seminal electro-rock band fronted by James Murphy and beloved for anthemic hits like "Losing My Edge" and "All My Friends," played their final concert at Madison Square Garden. The performance followed a week of four other sold-out shows at smaller venues in New York, and was a "bittersweet victory lap" for the band. Critics and fans were sad to see Murphy and Co. call it quits, but took comfort in the fact that they were doing it at their creative peak, rather than playing on into a sad oblivion. Here, a roundup of how critics are remembering the band and their final show:

They went out on top: Neil Young famously sang, "It's better to burn out than to fade away," and "I applaud LCD Soundsystem for trying to burn out the right way," says C.H. in The Economist. "While it is upsetting to witness a daring, innovative band fold it in at the height of its success, its [strategic] demise does offer cause for celebration."
"Goodbye LCD Soundsystem"

LCD was beyond devoted to music: Frontman James Murphy made an "art of hopeless commitment" to music, says Nitsuh Abebe in New York. He's never done anything else, and his "brightest idea" was singing about what happens when you really devote yourself to music. That gave birth to LCD's first single, 'Losing My Edge' — "a blithe parody, a hilarious in-joke that critics lapped up" and "an incredibly serious song about dedicating yourself to something ephemeral."
"Good-bye, LCD Soundsystem: James Murphy's art of hopeless commitment"

It's the end of an era: They were "the ultimate hipster band," and "they are calling it quits just as the decade of the hipster seems to be coming to an end," says Katie Kitamura in The Guardian. While "Murphy himself was never really a hipster" — at 41, he's a good decade older than most of his fans — he "stood as a self-mocking totem to a certain kind of experience."
"LCD Soundsystem bow out in Madison Square Garden"

And what a surreal ending it was: "It was one of the strangest final chapters in recent rock history: An underground phenomenon turned ubiquitous house party band saying goodbye at a Madison Square Garden perf that sold out in less than a minute," says Deborah Sprague at Variety. And then came a "final toast with the unlikely Gotham anthem 'New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down.'" Really, "the mood was akin to the end of an epic familial bash — a little bit sweet, a little bit sad, and entirely spent."
"LCD Soundsystem"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week