LCD Soundsystem's 'This Is Happening' and More New Reviews

Get the RS take on the Rolling Stones' 'Exile on Main Street' reissue and new discs from the Black Keys, Band of Horses and more

May 18, 2010 6:35 PM ET

Prepare to "Dance Yrself Clean": LCD Soundsystem's anticipated third album This Is Happening arrives in stores today, just in time to soundtrack your summer dance parties. On the new LP, disco-punk mastermind James Murphy wears his Berlin Trilogy-era Bowie/Eno influences on his sleeve with a collection of nine supersized songs that make his midlife crisis danceable. "The long songs reveal Murphy's bottom-line agenda: He's still a dance guy at heart, and he knows it's his job to ignite parties and clubs," Jody Rosen writes in his four-star review. "But he approaches dance music more like a folkie singer-songwriter than a DJ, as a vehicle for storytelling and confession." Standouts include the frat-rock first single "Drunk Girls," the lovelorn "I Can Change" and the "Heroes"-inspired centerpiece, "All I Want."

One of rock & roll's greatest double albums is also back in the spotlight this week: the Rolling Stones' reissue of Exile on Main Street . The original album would likely earn a five-star review on its own, but the reissue is stocked with 10 stellar previously unreleased bonus tracks. "The highlight of the bonuses is a striking variation on the closer, 'Soul Survivor,' sung by Richards instead of Jagger in an enraged bray, as if the guitarist just got up from a vicious beating. I would gladly pay extra to hear a tape of the two debating which version to use," David Fricke writes in his five-star review. For much more on this masterpiece, check out the new issue of Rolling Stone .

The Black Keys are also back this week with Brothers , the Ohio blues-rock duo's tightest album yet. "The Keys make a thick, dirty racket, overdubbed but never overstuffed," Fricke writes in his four-star review. The formula is similar to 2008's Danger Mouse-produced Attack & Release, "but Brothers, recorded largely in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with little outside help, has a higher ratio of compelling songs and distress." While the album runs a little long, tracks like "I'm Not the One" are late-disc highlights. As Fricke notes in his review, it's "a deep-fried wrong-love song destined for a payday cover in the straight world."

This week's noteworthy new releases also include Band of Horses' third album Infinite Arms , Damian Marley and Nas' Distant Relatives and Jamie Lidell's Compass . Get Rolling Stone's take on all the hottest new CDs — and sample tracks from each release — in our Album Reviews section.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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