This Is Happening - LCD Soundsystem
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. This Is Happening is looking back on a life well lived and well learned, the final cap on a perfect career.
  2. Murphy is still a brat, but this is a more emotionally mature and personal album than most of us thought him capable of.
  3. Golden-voiced Murphy, however, doesn't try for any cheap Bowie-baritone vocal mimicry, and his lyrics and musicianship have greater depth and polish. The best inspiration should come with improvements, and Murphy's are vast.
  4. His third album as LCD Soundsystem moves even further beyond ironic distance toward introspection and unguarded affection.
  5. While it’s certainly still working for him now—This Is Happening is, in all respects, LCD’s best album—it doesn’t take much to imagine the act becoming a tired gag a couple more albums down the line.
  6. Murphy once again shows off his encyclopedic knowledge of all things post-punk and zip-tight. But he's also swimming up some serious stuff himself, including Eno and David Bowie's sacrosanct Berlin trilogy. And against his own prediction, it's far from horrible; it's actually pretty perfect.
  7. James Murphy absolutely crushes the follow up, placing him on the shortlist of artists that truly matter, [Spring 2010, p.64]
  8. Suffused with an indefinable sense of melancholy, the likes of ‘I Can Change’, ‘Home’ and ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ instil the rubbery electro with a tangible soul - whilst ‘Drunk Girls’ delivers a giddy hit of bony post-punk.
  9. 90
    In it’s complete scope, the album contains all the master works we’re usually too scared to expect from a full-length these days.
  10. This Is Happening suffers no shortage of really great songs. Each track is a well-executed study in the finer points of the long form, each thumping and building, wavering and shifting in the haze of its own self-contained ecosystem.
  11. The ghosts of some of the greats are there for sure, but in the end, This Is Happening sounds like no one except LCD Soundsystem.
  12. Not only has the band wrapped up the themes of the record with impeachable, spotless playing and production, but the man at the center of it all hasn’t lost his penchant for writing quality tunes either, as nearly anything you blind-spot off This Is Happening will prove.
  13. It in many ways is the most danceable LCD album yet, a celebration of losing yourself in semi-darkness and a sea of undulating bodies between the speaker cabinets.
  14. As its title hints, this overstuffed album of addictive party starters seems likely to be stuck in our present for a long time to come.
  15. This Is Happening is a record that knows -- made by a band that knows -- that disco is better when it's just not so satisfied with itself.
  16. LCD Soundsystem principal James Murphy is at his cynical best on the act's third album, This Is Happening.
  17. 84
    Like all good things—especially good byes—it comes to an end. And with that, Mr. Murphy goes out on top.
  18. If ‘This Is Happening’ must be a parting shot from this smartest and most human of dance machines, it’s a fine one. Though by LCD’s own standards this takes second place to ‘Sound Of Silver’’s unquestionable gold medal, by any other current band’s measure this is an all-out classic.
  19. He's perhaps not very hopeful that 'This Is Happening' will capture the same number of ears and hearts as 2007's terrific 'Sound Of Silver' did, but it's a fine and thrilling epitaph nonetheless.
  20. This Is Happening doesn’t quite reach the monumental heights of Sound of Silver, but it serves as a almost-there companion and further proof that LCD Soundsystem is one of the most exciting and interesting bands around in the 2000s.
  21. This is a fantastic record, one of the year's best, but perhaps one that suggests that Murphy has said what he needed to say. [Jun 2010, p.122]
  22. Murphy mixes the organic and the synthetic, rock and electro, loud guitars and louder beats. Like any good dance producer, he excels at the art of tension and release.
  23. 80
    What keeps Murphy from being an insufferable know-it-all is how he folds deeper emotions into his references....Older, snottier, his edge remains.
  24. With This Is Happening, Murphy remains far ahead of pretenders trying to steal his thunder. [Jun 2010, p.107]
  25. You could argue that This Is Happening lacks its predecessor's startling sense of mapping out new territories, but if it confines itself to doing what LCD Soundsystem do, it does it all incredibly well.
  26. These fine-detail improvements are what make This Is Happening LCD’s best work to date, though mumblings about how Murphy might be repeating himself a bit remain valid.
  27. The songs that take their time developing are the ones that demonstrate Murphy’s talent for building simple beats and riffs into audio addictions.
  28. 75
    The new record doesn't quite live up to its predecessor, but its middle third is especially strong.
  29. This Is Happening brims with smaller joys: the contrast between the wafer-dry vocal harmonies and funk-sopping synth bass on “Dance Yourself Clean”; the cut-rate laser noises on the calisthenic banger “Pow Pow.” These things accrue into a wry loveliness that’s never easy or expected.
  30. This is Happening might not take us as far as Sound Of Silver, yet at times it’s still an exhilarating journey with ample opportunity to revel in another idiosyncratic lesson in the art, and joy, of sonic bricolage.
  31. In a technical sense it sounds, like everything Murphy produces, pristine.
  32. As good as this record is (and it is often very good), LCD Soundsystem can do, and has done, much better.
  33. This is Happening is a marathon-length listen, as in, if you can find a way to deal with James Murphy’s silly, sometimes bizarre lyrical themes and grand scale tracks, it may be worth the wait.
  34. It's whether or not This Is Happening stands on its own merits as original composition consistent with the quality of the LCD catalog. It falls short on both accounts, unfortunately, in what basically amounts to a final victory lap for a band that made its mark and doesn't have much more to say.
  35. 60
    Familiar elements (Nancy Wang's cheerleading vocals, sparse instrumentation colliding, lyrical misanthropy) are present and correct, but everything is bolder and deeper. [June 2010, p. 93]
  36. 60
    If this is indeed, as rumoured, LCD's final bout, it finds them a little heavy and tired, but occasionally deceptively light on their feet. [Jun 2010, p.82]
  37. This music sounds fantastic, as usual--clean, tight and separated in the mix--but songwriting inspiration is in short supply.
  38. Despite occasional flashes of brilliance it’s a patchy, derivative work.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 38
  2. Negative: 5 out of 38
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    10
    This is Happening wonâ
  2. ChelvisM
    Jun 9, 2010
    5
    By far LCD's worst effort yet. A sad recycling of the other albums. These lyrics are whack.
  3. Oct 8, 2011
    10
    The best but last album of this great project by James Murphy gets to it's end with remarkable songs and different lyrics. Not as great as Sound Of Silver, but great at the same way, songs like "I Can Change" e "Drunk Girls" show us that mr. Murphy might be the creative genious we-ve been looking for. Full Review »