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You’ve GOT to Hear This: “Daft Punk”

Daft PunkWhen we first think of electronic and house music, we like to imagine a guy in a club with flashing lights and sampled beats being played off of his laptop. It seems like the House music duo known as Daft Punk sought out to deal with this stereotype. Their highly anticipated fourth LP “Random Access Memories” seems to focus heavily on actual collaborators and what they have to offer instead of taking their favorite parts and adding beats and more colorful effects to their music. There has certainly been hype over Daft Punk’s new record. Their last record was in ’05 and we were only getting tastes of them from Kanye West’s song “Stronger” which sampled their track “Harder Better Faster Stronger”.

Now, keep in mind that I’m a new Daft Punk fan, but what I heard during this record did not disappoint me in the slightest. The whole albums carries a “feel-good in the summer” vibe throughout and the opening track “Give Life Back to Music” is an extremely catchy tune with saxophone and robotic vocals blending perfectly. Along with an extremely funky bassline and dangerously infectious guitar riff that you never want to end.
What surprised me is how much Daft Punk stayed true and constant to the theme of just enjoying the music and seeing where it takes you. When you listen to this album it feels like the perfect soundtrack to past summer experiences and suddenly makes you nostalgic almost instantly.

Such is the case with the track like “Game of Love” which has vocals that are just what the doctor ordered. They seem to melt in with the mix of things while a guitar uses a “wah-wah” effect in the background which doesn’t overpower this song. “Game of Love” slowly wins your heart and sinks into you, making it feel like the fastest five minutes of your life.

“Instant Crush”. Wow. Where do I begin? Well, Daft Punk does provide enough for us but the real shine goes to Julian Casablancas of “The Strokes”. Yes, his voice is coded and altered electronically but is a good change from his usual rough tone. There is such a strong story being told by Julian as he pours more and more of his heart out onto this song and makes it known that “….we never be alone again” and that “…it doesn’t happen every day”. Julian came across as a bit mysterious and vague but his lyrics and performance made up for this.

And lastly, the hit single “Get Lucky”. Pharrell Williams’ vocals seemed average but kept your attention with his Michael Jackson inspired falsetto in one section which I’m sure will bring many ’80s music fans a smile hearing his effort. This song is jam-packed with detailed orchestration but still staying true to electronic. From progressive basslines, to crisper riffs from guitarist Nile Rogers, to highly enjoyable robotic voices repeating “We’re up all night to get lucky” which you wish would never end.

To come to a close, this was my first Daft Punk album and I’m extremely pleased with what I’ve found. I hope that electronic fans as well as the electronically illiterate enjoy and find this is as entertaining as I did.

Cedric Casimier

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1 Response »

  1. I waited to read this review until I could listen to Daft Punk’s latest at the same time, and was glad I did. I found the reviewer’s comments on the mark, insightful and relatable. Though I’ve been hearing the Daft Punk name for years–usually mentioned with high praise–I’ve never been a fan of the house or electronic music genres, and never really got excited about any related releases.

    As a Strokes fan who first enjoyed Casablancas and crew live back in ’02, his contribution to the release is warmly welcome here, as are those of Chic guitarist and former Bowie-producer (“Let’s Dance”) Nile Rodgers, ’70 music legend Paul Williams, “Midnight Express” theme music maker Giorgio Moroder, and yeah, even Pharell Williams. Each adds their unique and inspired spark, without being overpowering or overbearing–very nice synergy going on here, I think.

    “Within” is my personal favorite, but like the reviewer said, the guys really stay true to and keep constant the theme of simply enjoying the music and seeing where it takes you–and that applies to every track, I think. And though that might sound like a fairly simple task for anyone who makes music, why is it so glaringly absent from so much of the music being made today? Sad–and as the reviewer implied, partly, it’s why this release makes one “nostalgic almost instantly.”

    After hearing “Random Access Memories” in full, I’m convinced the Daft duo is indeed gonna win over a whole new generation of fans, and I gotta agree with the reviewer once again: listeners will be extremely pleased with the enjoyable and entertaining music they find here. I know I did. Resultantly, I’m gonna check out some of Daft Punk’s back catalog. Gonna stay up on this keen-eared writer’s reviews, too!

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