James Murphy

Greenberg [Original Soundtrack]

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AllMusic Review by

Director Noah Baumbach’s film Greenberg follows an angsty, displaced New Yorker in Los Angeles looking for love, which is the perfect subject matter for maverick LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy to wrestle to the ground. Given that Greenberg is peppered with tracks from the likes of Steve Miller ("Jet Airliner"), Albert Hammond (“It Never Rains in Southern California”), Galaxie 500 (“Strange”), Duran Duran (“The Chauffer"), Sonics (“Shot Down”), and Nite Jewel (“Suburbia”), Greenberg shares more than a few things in common with fellow indie director Wes Anderson in his soundtrack choices. LCD fans looking for high-energy indie dance-rock will be disappointed, as Murphy has crafted a somber and reflective collection of oddball instrumentals, songs, and song snippets that retain their quirkiness without ever succumbing to preciousness. From the neo-blue-eyed soul of “People” and LCD's “Oh You (Christmas Blues)" to soulful acoustic numbers like “Plenty of Time,” with its Pet Sounds-inspired bassline and ghostly backing vocals, and the emotional centerpiece “Photographs,” which sounds like a long-lost Ray Davies outtake from Something Else by the Kinks, he’s given audiences his most mature work to date.

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