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Ruby: Is LCD Soundsystem betraying or satisfying longtime fans with their reunion?

LCD Soundsystem is one of the greatest bands of the 21st century.

James Murphy and his band spearheaded the short-lived dance-punk movement that started in New York City in the early aughts. The band’s debut single, “Losing My Edge,” immediately garnered plenty of music geek fans, and their self-titled first album came shortly after to critical acclaim. Their second album Sound of Silver expanded their sound and songwriting, resulting in memorable classics like “All My Friends” and “Someone Great.” In 2010, they somehow exceeded the hype with This Is Happening – then, just one year later after the third album and at the height of their popularity, announced that they would be disbanding after a final show at Madison Square Garden. It was the grand finale of a lifetime, featuring guest appearances from Arcade Fire and Reggie Watts and succeeded by a massive live album (The Long Goodbye) and a documentary (Shut Up And Play The Hits).

But, as of January 4th, the band is officially back together. They’re headlining Coachella. They have a new album coming this year. They’re even announcing tour dates soon. So does their disbandment count for anything? Is James Murphy betraying the band’s fans by getting back together and writing more songs? Will their final show feel cheapened now that they’re back on the road?

According to Murphy himself, he “hadn’t even considered that.” In fact, the negative responses caught him completely off guard.

I, for one, can’t believe that this is surprising to Murphy. While I’m immensely happy that they’re recording a fourth album and going on tour, I can’t help but feel a little put off by the announcement. Murphy said he had plenty of songs that he wanted to record with the original band members. That’s great – but why disband in the first place if he’s had so many ideas over the years?

However, Murphy does understand these outcries and addressed them in a post on the band’s website:

“if you cared a lot about our band, and you put a lot of yourself into that moment (or anything about us you chose), and you feel betrayed now, then i completely understand that. it’s your right to define what you love about a band, and it’s your right to decry their actions and words as you see fit, because it’s you, frankly, who have done much of the work to sustain that relationship, not the band.”

And he’s right. A fan’s relationship with any band is just as important, if not more so than whatever the band creates and whatever decisions they make. If you’re a diehard LCD Soundsystem fan that bought every album, single and remix and went to the final show expecting the ending of all endings, it’s easy to feel betrayed. If you like the band’s body of work but was never really into them until after they broke up (like myself), it’s easier to be happy they’re producing brand new material. If you’ve never heard of LCD Soundsystem, now is your chance to experience their energy and greatness for the first time.

So let go of your negative perceptions. LCD Soundsystem is coming back and there’s nothing we can do to stop them. And we shouldn’t stop it – because THIS IS HAPPENING.

*cue dance breakdown*

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Alex Ruby

Alex Ruby