Review - Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
The world has been looking forward to a new Daft Punk for seven years (we’re not including their EPIC live album or the Tron soundtrack), and no one was waiting in greater anticipation that this boy. Having said that, what you’re about to read might shock you.
‘Random Access Memories’ is – somehow – simultaneously exciting and incredibly disappointing.
I love disco, and I indulge myself from time to time in some old school tunes that my parents raised me on that many of my peers wouldn’t recognize, so the idea that Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers were helping craft the sound for ‘RAM’ was thrilling. Lead single “Get Lucky (ft. Pharell)” was astonishing in its ability to introduce a new generation to the now-defunct genre.
Having said that, much of the rest of the album falls short of the mastery of its lead. Repetition – a Daft Punk signature – is used to the extreme here, and it bloats what should have been the best dance album this year. Whether it be words, chords, or even almost entire songs (“Touch [ft. Paul Williams]” borrows FAR too much from “Get Lucky [ft. Pharell]”), the diversity is lacking. Sure, the duo has created an album that melds electronic dance (if you can find it) with instrumental disco, but somehow it all still blends.
Lastly, I have to say that I was shocked at how much of a break this was from the Daft Punk brand. I was expecting an actual blend of EDM and disco, but ‘RAM’ isn’t that. This album will leave longtime die-hard fans scratching their heads, wondering what happened to the Frenchmen who used to sit atop an LED pyramid and blow your eardrums out.
‘Random Access Memories’ is easy-going, loose, and even relaxing at times. Daft Punk and relaxing were just used in the same sentence. Something is wrong here. While the album itself is a great example of how old ideas can be made new again, their new album doesn’t pack the punch we were waiting all this time for.
Listen to: “Get Lucky (ft. Pharell)”, “Contact”, “Instant Crush (ft. Julian Casablancas)”