Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 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.
  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. His third album as LCD Soundsystem moves even further beyond ironic distance toward introspection and unguarded affection.
  4. This Is Happening is looking back on a life well lived and well learned, the final cap on a perfect career.
  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. 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.
  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. 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.
  10. Under The Radar
    James Murphy absolutely crushes the follow up, placing him on the shortlist of artists that truly matter, [Spring 2010, p.64]
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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. 84
    Like all good things—especially good byes—it comes to an end. And with that, Mr. Murphy goes out on top.
  17. LCD Soundsystem principal James Murphy is at his cynical best on the act's third album, This Is Happening.
  18. 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.
  19. Alternative Press
    With This Is Happening, Murphy remains far ahead of pretenders trying to steal his thunder. [Jun 2010, p.107]
  20. 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.
  21. The songs that take their time developing are the ones that demonstrate Murphy’s talent for building simple beats and riffs into audio addictions.
  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. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Q Magazine
    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]
  28. 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.
  29. 75
    The new record doesn't quite live up to its predecessor, but its middle third is especially strong.
  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. As good as this record is (and it is often very good), LCD Soundsystem can do, and has done, much better.
  32. 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.
  33. In a technical sense it sounds, like everything Murphy produces, pristine.
  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. Uncut
    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]
  36. Mojo
    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]
  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

Universal acclaim- based on 238 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 238
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    This is Happening wonâ
  2. ChelvisM
    Jun 9, 2010
    By far LCD's worst effort yet. A sad recycling of the other albums. These lyrics are whack.
  3. Oct 8, 2011
    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 asThe 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 »