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Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

 
14 May, 2013
 
 
 


By Nixxie 

 

Homework, Daft Punk's first album released back in 1997, is possibly one of the greatest dance music achievements ever. Let it be said that I am not prone to exaggeration. It really is. Discovery, their sophomore effort (2001), was almost as good. I say almost but in reality it's just as good. The only difference being that it came second, chronologically. That's all.

 

Then came Human After All in 2005, which didn't quite cut it in my book. Tron (2010) I won't even get in to as I'm simply not qualified enough to comment on a movie/franchise that I was never into in the first place.

 

So it is with a fair amount of apprehension, mixed in with optimistic excitement that I have been eagerly awaiting this latest full-length album from what is if not one of my all time favorite acts then certainly one that has influenced me a great deal.

 

Waiting for a big new release is a little bit like waiting to see an old friend you haven't been in touch with for some years but with whom you used to share a lot of moments together.

 

There's the inevitable excitement. There's impatience. And then there's an element of anxiety - it's been a few years, what will have changed and what will I recognize, if anything? Will I still feel the same way I did back then?

 

And then you finally get reunited. This is where I think people's reactions can vary a lot. Everyone's expectations are different: you have purists, you have enthusiasts, there are some who are only just getting into this genre, there are others still who will just pay attention to anything that is getting attention, and then there are many others, inherent cynics / biased die-hard fans / yeah-sayers - the list is long. And so is the variety of responses.

 

HOWEVER. The one thing that a lot of people forget to do when throwing out an opinion happens to be the most important, and is generally an big factor in all our Fluffy reviews here: time. You need to spend time with the music before you know how it is really going to affect you. Sure, it is possible to instantly recognize something catchy, a big hook here or there. But to really get it, it takes more than a week or two.

 

That being said, I am now nevertheless going to offer an initial commentary on this, Daft Punk's 4th installment, Random Access Memories.

 

The way I'm going to do this is somewhat unorthodox insofar as I intend to just throw out a one-liner for each track, in sequential order. I don't want to regret this once/IF I've spent the whole summer listening to this, hence the brevity.

 

  1. Give Life Back To Music: enjoyed this the first few times, it's funky, very daftpunky, and it gets us in the swing of things nicely - nice start 7.5/10
     
  2. The Game Of Love: I like the transition from the opening track to this slower tempo, the instrumentation is decent, the vocoder effect is another Daft Punk staple - overall not a bad little tune, definitely recognizable, perhaps not so memorable, we will see. 5/10
     
  3. Giorgio By Moroder: The rhythm and riffs remind me at times of a watered-down Aerodynamic, which, though not a bad thing, is at the same time not very original, I was really hoping to be getting into something fresh by this point, let's see if it happens later (I did love the bass and percussion work though) 7.5/10
     
  4. Within: Another slow piece, Within gives the feeling I'm going to like it more given time. For now, it feels a little thin on ideas and, truth be told, I am starting to feel a little tired of the vocoding every time DP don't have a guest singer… 6/10
     
  5. Instant Crush: And as if by magic… more vocoder! This time at least the chorus contains a decent(ish) hook for me to hang my hat on. I'm feeling the emotion on this, it's polished, well constructed, yes, I am liking this a lot, guitar solos and all 8/10
     
  6. Lose Yourself To Dance: I love the way this starts, the fat bassline drops ever so smoothly. My feelings for Pharrell Williams are a little mixed, and if I am to properly 'lose myself to dance' here I might need to pitchshift to a slightly higher beat per minute count 7.5/10
     
  7. Touch: Wow. Really not sure how I feel about this - the instrumentation is certainly evocative enough, the vocals might take some getting used to… I absolutely love the intro, the little bridges and tangents we come across as the track evolves. I sense this might be one of those tracks I will be coming back to and appreciating more with time, feels like a bit of a journey 7/10
     
  8. Get Lucky: yes, yes, yes, I know - it has already been overplayed to point of near saturation. But then again it IS pretty funky. So I'm OK with it. Just please give it the occasional rest before we really get tired of it. 8/10
     
  9. Beyond: OK so yes, I do like this, quite a lot in fact, but am I the only that hears a bass-line straight out the Warren G / Nate Dogg 90's monster hit Regulators? 7.5/10
     
  10. Motherboard: I am feeling the vibes, the flow, the originality, this is more like it, more what I have been hoping for, even if it isn't a major dance floor hit (tant mieux!) 7.5/10

  11. Fragments Of Time: do I want to play this in my car as I drive away from a beach some hazy summer afternoon? Yes, quite possibly. I would have liked an extra little edginess somewhere, it feels a little too clean even for Daft Punk, but OK I guess I can live with that. 7/10
     
  12. Doin' It Right: My hands down favorite moment on the album so far, this is what I was really hoping for, and it's taken 11 tracks for it to happen. Ah well, better late than never as they say 8.5/10
     
  13. Contact: Fun but, once again, felt way too formulaic these first few times (I'm thinking this can only get worse in time). 6/10

 

 

That's it for now - a "proper" review will follow when the time is right.

 


 


QUICK ALBUM FACTS


Primary Genre: Electronic

 

Secondary Genre: Disco

 

Release Date: 20 May 2013

 

Label: Columbia

 

Influences: Cerrone, Chemical Brothers

 

Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: Cassius, Air, Breakbot

 

Album Highlights:  Give Life Back To Music, Get Lucky, Doin It Right

  

 

 

 

 


NIX'S 2 CENTS

 

"This is just my first impression, a proper review should follow in a month or three, for now 7/10"

 



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Nixxie

Nixxie

 
24 Fluffy Reviews
 
"Made Glorious Summer By This Son Of York"
 
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Raised in England, educated by France, originally from Greece. 
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