Daft Punk – Random Access Memories Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (2013)

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (2013)

I feel everyone is waiting for this record. I find this interesting because I cannot think of the last time everyone was anticipating the same album. Maybe Radiohead. Daft Punk is a French house duo who have become planted within our cultural bedrock for only a handful of records which saw moderate critical praise. I am still trying to rationalize why this group is so renowned or why the announcement of a their fourth record, Random Access Memories was greeted with shrieks of excitement. What is it about this damn group that brings everyone to the same leveled field? I know why I am excited but why is everyone else with me and are they thinking the same thing?.

Since its first single “Get Lucky,” was released Random Access Memories was anticipated to be different. The unabashed soul disco style of “Get Lucky” evolved into an entire album based around late 70’s and early 80’s dance music. Everything became manic when the album’s guest list started to appear, including Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Paul Jackson Jr, Julian Casablancas, and Pharell Williams. Well, if the band knows how to do anything it is to wield excitement like a damn flaming sword. Fuck it, lets all dance for one night together. Daft Punk is about to open up a club and by the soft hum of neon I can tell it is 1981.

It goes without saying that Random Access Memories is different than previous albums. While each Daft Punk album varied from Chicago house to French house to electro rock, Random Access Memories rides the exponential curve with a record full of smooth synthesized vocals, live instruments, and a clear thesis of mid energy dance music mixed with an adventuring spirit. The production value is tasteful, offering a highly glossed pop record retaining organic elements. This is pleasant as it allows one to slip into a world of future chrome where disco never really died but became a national pastime. Oh, and did I mention the bass is damn funky?

The majority of Random Access Memories feels perfect. The album owes a lot of its success to its refined aesthetic scope. The delicacy and craft which comes to a focus on a small window of EDM not only nods to disco dorks but also gives the album a character. Daft Punk could have pulled off this record by themselves but, in addition to its style, it is the guests which send Random Access Memories over the top. This record wouldn’t be the same without Pharell Williams’ instant hits “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance.” Can you imagine not hearing Panda Bear’s clear voice on “Doin it Right” unclouded by wooshing and American Spirit smoke? I do not think you can. Everything from the tribute to Giorgio Moroder and the central Paul Williams showcase was the right decision with no parts questionable.

I feel that it is important to note that despite my near bliss with Random Access Memories, I am not blinded to its critical and expected flaws. At 74 minutes the record is ridiculously ostentatious and swollen. The long track lengths are varied in their usefulness but at certain points feel over-encumbered when a simple bass beat would have been more useful. Songs like “Giorgio By Morodor” and “Touch” do not justify their near 10 minute running time. This is supported by the fact songs like “Fragments of Time” and “Give Life Back to Music” do so much more with half the time. These are, of course, small criticisms directed at an album I feel is just a few degrees south of perfect.

I have been through this record numerous times. In fact, I think I have gone over this record more than I would normally listen to an album for review. Perhaps, it is because it is Daft Punk and I knew it was going to be popular. Perhaps, it is just because it is Daft Punk. Perhaps, it is because “Fragments of Time” has a simple yet addictive combination of synth and steel pedal melody which makes me smile for days. Perhaps, it is because it is damn near amazing and I am glad I came to this stadium. Tonight, everyone has fun.

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories Tracklist:

Give Life Back to Music (featuring Nile Rodgers)
The Game of Love
Giorgio by Moroder (featuring Giorgio Moroder)
Within (featuring Chilly Gonzales)
Instant Crush (featuring Julian Casablancas)
Lose Yourself to Dance (featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers)
Touch (featuring Paul Williams)
Get Lucky (featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers)
Fragments of Time (featuring Todd Edwards)
Doin’ It Right (featuring Panda Bear)
Contact (featuring DJ Falcon)

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories , reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2013-05-20T06:20:23-07:00 rating 3.9 out of 5

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