Anyone born before the turn of the century may recallmemories of rummaging through their parent’s closets to find old disco cassettes or 3-inch platform shoes and having a good laugh. Daft Punk’s latest album, “Random Access Memories,” is sort of like that.
The French electronic dance music legends Thomas Bengalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have unveiled a big-budget, funk-tastic production that takes the listener on a journey through the electronic music scenes of the late ’70s and ’80s. The album has already risen to notoriety on music charts with its single “Get Lucky.”
The most notable tracks of the album are “Touch” and the get-you-off-your-feet track “Lose Yourself to Dance.” “Touch” feels almost like a stage production. Singer and songwriter Paul Williams accompanies his piano with a monologue about the physicality of relationships and a longing for love.
In “Giorgio by Moroder,” Daft Punk pays homage to Italian disco music icon Giorgio Moroder, opening the track with an inspiring speech on his musical passions that quickly turns into a salute to electronic music itself.If there were one song to avoid on the album it would be the second track, “The Game of Love.” Though the album seems innocently sweet during the first listen, during every subsequent play it sounds more and more like a cliché high school love letter.
The exit track, “Contact,” is one Daft Punk fans of all points on the spectrum should listen to. The track begins with an astronaut’s description of Earth and progresses into a mashup of organs, heavy-handed drums and a synth line buildup with a quick climax and an even quicker calm that sustains through the end of the song.
In “Contact,” Daft Punk utilizes all the luxuries afforded to full band studio recording and ends the entire album in perhaps the only way it could be ended. If the synth-filled, auto-tuned pleasure that is Daft Punk filtered through a full orchestra is not enough to make you a fan, electronic dance music is just not for you.
At some points, the album can make younger listeners feel like rummaging through their parent’s closet onceagain, grabbing dad’s old shoes and getting some friends together to dance the night away. At other times it sounds like generic elevator music thatmakes the ride to your destination nearinsufferable.
But let’s be real: It’s Daft Punk. We’ll all talk with our friends about how overdone and lame Daft Punk’s newest album is as we listen to it in the secrecy of our rooms pretending we are John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever.”