Daft Punk’s newest album Random Access Memories might have been the biggest most anticipated album of this year. To most extent due to their absent from the music market. Human After All being their latest studio album (not counting the duos soundtrack for Tron: Legacy or the 2007 live album) in eight years. But also to the effective marketing behind the album. At first teasing the audience with a small teaser from the albums single Get Lucky. And releasing a set of interviews with people who collaborated on the album. I fell victim to the wide spread hype for this album and was highly exited for it’s release.
I’d been dancing (alone and unseen) to the infinite loop of the fifteen second snippet from the track. It’s warmth and lively disco rhythm felt like nice summer-nights breeze during the later portions of the dark, cold and depressive Scandinavian winter. The interview with singer Pherrell expressing his thought behind the fun, party-loving lyric just further enhanced my longing for warmer brighter days ahead making me look out the window with distaste for Sweden’s dominating freezing-season.
All this hype for a song which I’ve only heard fifteen seconds from wouldn’t last. When the track released all that optimism washed away. In the interview with guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers he talked at length about how he would have all these dynamic little riffs underneath the main sounds of the song to give it extra depth and life. That’s not what I heard when I listened to Get Lucky. All I heard was the same thirteen seconds of rhythm guitar, drums and bass now with some lackluster singing over it. Singing that wants to be catchy, but it doesn’t give me anything. Theirs no depth, life nor love to be found.
Now after this roller-coaster ride going from high hype to disappointing singles the album’s been released. It’s been out a week (as I’m writing this) and I’ve been listening to it over and over and I do like it even though there are some lesser tracks included in the mix. I usually found myself starting the album from track number three and listening from there on out skipping Get Lucky. The third track starts of with an biographical introduction of Giorgio Moroder and the start of electronic music. And as he introduces the use of a click the track goes into an seven minute long exploration which plays and builds until the voice cuts in and explains “there was no preconception of what to do”, after which the track slows down in to an string-heavy portion just to build back up and eventually explode.
Judging from my previous expectations of the album it falls somewhere in-between. I like the album enough, but love just feels like a to strong of an emotion for me to give this collection of songs.
I like the weird science-fiction feeling of Paul Williams song Touch where he talks as if a human evolved away from emotion realizing that somethings been lost along the way. And maybe that’s what the Frenchmen wearing the robot helmets feel as well as they try to get back to the old days of electronic music using physical instruments and opening the album with a track named Give Life Back To Music.
When listening to Instant Crush it feels like what Julian Casablanca’s been aiming for ever since the Strokes left the New York punk-rock music behind. A track which feels so 80’s synth-pop/soft-rock featuring the moody singer wrapped in a robot-like form. And the twelfth, second to last track of Random Access Memories shows Panda Bear being true-to-form giving us a dance-able song with few though highly repeated samples.
It might not be the best album of the year, or an innovation in the house-music scene but it’s definitively the best Daft Punk album since Discovery and a enjoyable listen or two. At-least listen to the eight minute third track Giorgio by Moroder.
PS: Ha en bra dag!