A Review of Dominique Leone’s Review of LCD Soundsystem’s 45:33 7.2
With 1300 reviews on Pitchfork every year and tens of thousands of records released, one might assume that there is plenty to review, but despite the numbers there is something to be said of being selective. Tastemakers build a reputation with what they review and not just how they review it. They can build struggling artists (like LCD Soundsystem) and give a voice to outsiders of popular culture (Nike?).
Dominique Leone is given the unfortunate task of reviewing an iTunes only release of an LCD Soundsystem workout mix commissioned by Nike™. You can even print out your own cover art with the Nike™ swooshtika® on it. Leone structures her review of 45:33 around a workout routine. That probably sounds really tacky, but it frames the review rather nicely, aside from a slightly clumsy attempt at validating Nike™ as a contributor more than a vampire in the landscape of popular culture.
Leone follows the building momentum of amoebic musical structures into an accretion of layers and gradual accelerando that mimic the arc of the run. Her descriptions of the sounds that characterize each stage (“unassuming analog synth line” at start, flowing into “jazzy house piano line” to “mid-tempo disco-funk”) best serves the release as an entity tightly crafted, sequenced, and dynamically designed around a basic concept. Swooshtika® aside, that’s the kind of record reviewers want to review. While a dismissive monologue of more corporate schlock is what most of us would rather read, Leone takes the high road in actually engaging in a review of 45:33. Unfortunately, it also reads like an advert for a Nike™ product, built to assuage the neo-liberal guilt that would drive some LCDS fans away. Like 45:33, whether you take the review for an advertisement or its own statement, the content remains the same.
--E. L. Eauface