If LCD Soundsystem's third record is indeed the band's last (as main man James Murphy has indicated), at least the group is going out on top. Not since New Order's mid-'80s heyday has a band seamlessly fused dance music with rock, all the while reconciling an indie spirit with the mainstream.
Though Murphy is reluctant to acknowledge his place in the mainstream ("You wanted a hit/But that's not what we do"), at 40 years old, he's self-aware enough to recognize the disingenuousness of those lyrics — "Drunk Girls" was the first great punk song of 2010.
With Sleigh Bells. 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 6, at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; livenation.com. Tickets cost $48.70.
The other eight songs on the hourlong (yes, the tracks average about eight minutes apiece) This Is Happening are no less potent, especially the Bowie-esque "All I Want," the driving "You Wanted a Hit," and "I Can Change," in which Murphy gives his most tuneful vocal performance, singing "I can change/If it helps you fall in love." More obliqueness from Mr. Murphy? People usually don't change, especially at his age.
So, is LCD Soundsystem's supposed swan song a put-on? A catchy, danceable exercise in archness? Maybe not, because Murphy sounds serious in the record's numerous references to going home — as though he's ready to put LCD Soundsystem to bed. If he is, at least he left us with the most successful formula yet for dance rock.