The beauty of James Murphy's early LCD Soundsystem singles like "Losing My Edge" was the way they simultaneously awarded him hipster credentials and mocked the indier-than-thou attitude that came with such a rarefied reputation. This knowing irony of being an outsider tapped for inner-sanctum inclusion permeates the first song on his self-titled debut, "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House." A five-minute throb that's all soul falsetto and cowbell funk, it's the sonic equivalent of the school nerd winning the hand of the prom queen. The rest of the album, unfortunately, is curiously devoid of such fresh cleverness. The tunes sound like Ladytron dirty-dancing with the Rapture, contain sparking synth-pop jitters, bounce like b-boys breakin' at the playground and even meander like late-period Beatles in a psychedelic, stoned haze -- but their beats are repetitive and arranged in unmemorable, plodding ways.
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