Daft Punk "Randon Access Memories" 180gm 2LP
Format: 180gm 2LP, gatefold cover, includes download, sealed
Daft Punk separate themselves from most contemporary electronic music and how it's made, enlisting some of their biggest influences to help them get the sounds they needed without samples.
On Homework's "Teachers," they reverently name-checked a massive list of musicians and producers; here, they place themselves on equal footing with disco masterminds Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, referring to them as "collaborators."
That could be self-aggrandizing, yet it's also strangely humble when they take a back seat to their co-stars, especially on one of RAM's definitive moments, "Giorgio by Moroder," where the producer shares his thoughts on making music with wild guitar and synth solos trailing behind him. Elsewhere, Daft Punk nod to their symbiotic relationship with indie on the lovely "Doin' It Right," which makes the most of Panda Bear's boyish vocals, and on the Julian Casablancas cameo "Instant Crush," which is only slightly more electronic than the Strokes' Comedown Machine.
And of course, Pharrell Williams is the avatar of their dancefloor mastery on the sweaty disco of "Lose Yourself to Dance" as well as "Get Lucky," which is so suave that it couldn't help but be an instant classic, albeit a somewhat nostalgic one.
Indeed, "memories" is the album's keyword: Daft Punk celebrate the late '70s and early '80s with lavish homages like "Give Life Back to Music" -- one of several terrific showcases for Rodgers -- and the spot-on soft rock of the Todd Edwards collaboration "Fragments of Time."
More importantly, Random Access Memories taps into the wonder and excitement in that era's music. A particularly brilliant example is "Touch," where singer/songwriter Paul Williams conflates his work in Phantom of the Paradise and The Muppet Movie in the song's mystique, charm, and fragile yet unabashed emotions.
- Give Life Back to Music
- The Game of Love
- Giorgio by Moroder
- Instant Crush (featuring Julian Casablancas)
- Lose Yourself to Dance (featuring Pharrell Williams)
- Touch (featuring Paul Williams)
- Get Lucky (featuring Pharrell Williams)
- Fragments of Time (featuring Todd Edwards)
- Doin' It Right (featuring Panda Bear)