First things first; don’t expect me to start this review with a quote like “They’re back!”. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo had never been away and this is not an ESPN sports announcement.
There’s been a lot of talk and anticipation about Daft Punk‘s upcoming release Random Access Memories. It first started with a 10 second guitar loop leaked somewhere on the internet until the first single Get lucky came out. Expectations were high, as people seemed to be a tad disappointed about their last release, the TRON O.S.T. , thus this album cannot be viewed as a regular album but a movie soundtrack instead, but people nowadays don’t need much input / change to quarrel.
Concerning the quarelling, Random Access Memories managed to perfectly split Daft Punk fans in two parties. The age of maximal techno / electro is long gone and climbing into the brostep / dubstep bandwagon would have been a fatal decision for a band that characterised an era for electronic music in the mid-nineties and as the new trend dictates it, disco and funk will be the next big thing; apparently.
In my defense, I have to say that I’m a disco kid, mostly influenced because of my parent’s music taste in younger years. What effect will Random Access Memories have on me? Will it work?
The opener Give life back to music dropped my jaw instantly. The sound, the groove; simply EVERYTHING has changed. Is this really Daft Punk I’m listening to, while unconsciously moving my hips in utter gusto? The guitar had me from the very fist second!
Surprisingly, the next track The game of love changes the pace to a smooth, sweaty groove that reflects the hot and horny mood disco has on people (or even couples). The vocoder may be a bit too much, but if you give this song 3-4 listens it becomes a subtle grower.
Giorgio by moroder is a masterpiece to me. What could be better than a “pseudo-documentary” intro with disco mastermind Giorgio Moroder speaking about his early stages as a musician, than to completely tear up the “interview” with a nasty synthesizer arpeggio that is addictive as hell? Right, a berzerk groove robot playing drums and a totally cheesy but awesome guitar solo at the end that catapults you to planet Disco Ball. This is a monumental ode to the emergence of disco music. It can’t get any better, or can it?
Just like the second track Within is what we used to call a slow, when we were kids. A welcome cooldown after a hot climax. The cigarette after; underlined with subtle E-Pianos, vocoder and slow percussion. Why not?
I am going to be completely candid with you, dear reader. I am not going to review any other song of the album, otherwise this review will risk to become another TL-DR review out there. Random Access Memories really is a cool album, but only if you’re into disco and if you’re willing to ACCEPT the big change of sound Daft Punk underwent. Don’t expect Homework Part 2. Just as in movies, remakes don’t touch the nerve of time; deal with it. The fat basslines are gone, there’s much more guitar on this release than on any other record and yes, this is pop music. Sceptics will welcome tracks like Get Lucky and Lose yourself to dance and won’t resist the urge to dance their asses off while considering tracks like Beyond as elevator music, but that’s understandable. Trends come and go and just as punk rock, disco never died. That’s awesome!
Hope to see you sinners on a greasy dancefloor next door, pumped with testosterone and nasty thoughts!