With the much anticipated Daft Punk album set to release this month, several sources were able to receive Random Access Memories and review it ahead of time. So being the nice blog that we are, we decided to cite the best/worst reviews all in one handy location. Let’s get started!
1. Give Life Back to Music
MTV Music called it a “flash-fried funk that’s still gooey in the middle, building on guitars and handclaps before gradually fading away on the duo’s lithe robo-vocals” and MixMag seems to agree by saying, “A big, rockin’ intro gives way to that classic, laidback, sunsplashed 70s sound that Daft Punk have fallen in love with…” Give Life Back to Music features Nile Rodgers of Chic who adds his musical prowess to the introduction to the album.
2. The Game of Love
Featuring the vocoders of Daft Punk, NME magazine said, “...it’s human after all rather than ‘Human After All’ as da Punk make good on their promise and get organic.” Both The Quietus and Clash Music mentioned that The Game of Love sounds like “…Sad robots…” in that some of the lyrics include, “There is a game of love. Heading towards you. When you decided to walk away,”.
3. Giorgio by Moroder
Which features the music talent of Giorgio Moroder, DJ Mag mentioned that, “he [Giorgio] starts talking about bringing electronic sounds into his work, as he did with Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’, well… prepare to be excited.” while The Clash was less than excited mentioning that despite a great four minutes into the song, the rest of nine minute track is “…exhaustingly dense. Those monologues are really going to do my head in on repeated listens.” Perhaps not everyone enjoys Giorgio giving a life story in the span of nine minutes.
A rather honest review, The Quietus had some interesting words to say on #4 of RAM, “Despite opening with a flamboyant Chilly Gonzales flamenco piano solo, the sound here is restrained, with an understated brass part supporting another bad case of the computer blues” yet MixMag calls it both “a beautiful summer lullaby” and “Small but perfectly formed.” So it’s truly up to the listeners on this one.
5. Instant Crush
“Lovely stuff, the lush west coast vibes are back. You can almost sense Fleetwood Mac having brunch with each other.” says the site, Clash Music. On the other end of the spectrum, The Quietus, again with an interesting review, “We’re moving further away from a former incarnation of Daft Punk, as the collaborators on Random Access Memories drive and define the album’s sound. Sure, it’s an improvement on the latest Strokes record, but as for the future of electronic music, this isn’t it.”
6. Lose Yourself to Dance
Mixmag seemed to love this one in particular, “A rising vocoder line sings “Come on, come on, come on” in counterpoint to Pharell’s chorus and this the closest we’ve had to a “Harder, faster, stronger” moment so far. Destined to be a festival fave.” Also getting some love from NME, “Slower than ‘Get Lucky’, this one’s deep and fat.” It seems with the help of Nile Rodgers any track can turn into an instant favorite.
Daft Punk themselves call this, “The crux of the album.” however Clash Music says otherwise, “It’s really dragging on. We’re in a nightmarish delusion created by the short-circuitry of bad musical meets tired disco. Somewhere, Touché is in tears. Daft Punk’s Disney-fication continues strongly.” Oddly enough, MixMag tends to disagree, “‘Touch’ is Daft Punk’s ‘Bohemiam Rhapsody’ or ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’;”
8. Get Lucky
Not much needs to be said about this one, yet Mix Mag has spoken the truth, ““We’re up all night to get lucky” will be sung at festivals, raves and afterparties the world over, the epitome of 21st century pop and an anthem that will bring a new generation of party people together.” Clash Music concurs but not without a slight jab… “This is sounding better and better amid this depressed robot day care centre fare.” Throughout the reviews it seems that any track featuring musical legend Nile Rodgers gets instant love. Interesting.
The Quietus sounds a bit disappointed, “Album filler of the most ostentatious sort: timpani rolls, fanfares, violin flourishes and more Paul Williams lyrics, declaring “the perfect song is framed by silence.” and there seems to be this agreement on the introduction of the song, citing MixMag: “The intro sounds like a Disney film is starting.”
NME on Motherboard, “Panpipes and waterfalls meet Innerzone Orchestra’s ‘Bug in The Bassbin’ on a journey into trip-hop’s more interesting recesses before cascades of warped synth and plump beats pull back to somewhere nearer Orbital. You get the picture – ambient wandering minstrel breakbeat.” Yet The Quietus describes it as, “The only song on the album to draw upon the traditional Daft Punk aesthetic”
11. Fragments of Time
MixMag once again, “Those expecting a ‘Face To Face’-style banger will be very disappointed. Those with a more open mind will also be disappointed. There’s none of Todd’s trademark production style here, just a drab country-pop song in which his vocal part sounds incredible bland. 100 per cent let down.” Ouch. Clash Music seems to love it but not before mentioning the track Touch, “In comparison this track has absolutely zero edges of friction and zero objectionable parts. In fact, that was lovely.”
12. Doin’ it Right
“There’s a Trojan Robot for a few seconds, then he opens his belly and out pops Panda Bear to sack the ancient city. ‘Doin’ It Right’ is how you imagined Daft Punk meets Animal Collective to sound – The Beach Boys gone digital. It’s twinkly, jumpy, synthy and straight outta left field.” Seems like a thumbs up from NME! The Quietus, however, had some stinging words for Daft Punk, “another instance of the guest artist, at least on first listen, overshadowing Daft Punk’s contribution.”
The final track of the album, and The Quietus had some rather harsh words…“In an exercise in unsubtle cinematic suspense, we’re treated to drumrolls, crackling analogue tape and, finally, the infernal sound of an acceleration preparing for what sounds like Daft Punk’s attempted moon orbit. After an unbearable series of false endings, the pressure subsides and the sound contracts, as if sucked up through a giant straw. It’s a conclusion that evokes leaving the cinema after a summer Hollywood blockbuster, unpicking stray popcorn from your trousers and asking, “what was all that about?’ And Clash Music seems to agree.. “All three journalists look cautiously at each other before shaking heads at the offer of listening to any specific part or song again.”
Amid mixed reviews it seems that Daft Punk’s latest album, Random Access Memories, will have a rather interesting release. Truth be told, the hype behind the album could, in theory, be enough for the average fan to look over its supposed shortcomings and absolutely love the album, but the question here is, Who is just an average fan of Daft Punk?