May 14, 2013 by Rob Hurlbut
I was introduced to Daft Punk back in the late 1990s and have been a fan ever since. On May 21, 2013 they will release a new album titled, “Random Access Memories” that I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to, just now. Here is my track by track review of their new disc.
1. “Give Life Back To Music” (Featuring Nile Rogers)
This track starts out with a bang of an intro that hooked me in and continued to keep me hooked as the beat slowed down and then picked up again. This is a song about turning music on and giving yourself to the music. It’s a happy song that demonstrates how an evening is always made better with some music.
2. “The Game Of Love”
This is a sexy track that has undertones of 1970s porn music and light jazz. It is a song of lament with the singer going on about a person that has broken their heart and chose to walk away instead of stay.
3. “Giorgio by Moroder” (featuring Giorgio Moroder)
This track has everything to do with passion. Giorgio introduces the track by telling us how being a musician was what he always wanted to do and the sacrifices he made to pursue that dream. This is an instrumental track after the intro and it is chill most of the time but some areas of the song will make you want to stand up and boogey down.
4. “Within” (featuring Chilly Gonzales)
This track is a classical music masterpiece and is the most introspective Daft Punk song I have ever heard. A lone piano begins the journey into this song. Way back in the day, back in the 1980s when I first heard The Beatles and Janice Joplin singing about a love they couldn’t have or uncertainty in their lives it resonated with me because I was a teenager that thought if you were beautiful, rich or a celebrity that everything would fall into place. It was amazing to find out that isn’t true. This song reaffirms that.
5. “Instant Crush” (featuring Julian Casablancas)
The title of this track says it all. If we were to pretend for a moment that relationships have a beginning, middle and an end, this song is all about the beginning.
6. “Lose Yourself to Dance” (featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers)
I like the concept and title of this song but I didn’t like the song itself. With a title like this, I felt like the song should have been more powerful and hard hitting. Listening to this song did not inspire or want me to lose myself to dance.
7. “Touch” (featuring Paul Williams)
This song has some great lyrics but for the second song in a row, I was left less than impressed. The rhythm and the music of this track is underwhelming for me and it seems to me that this song and the track that preceded it are one long intro to the eighth track on the album.
8. “Get Lucky” (featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers)
This is the first single released in support of this album and it is a great, catchy tune with some great lyrics. It’s a song about what a man and a woman have planned with and for each other over the course of a night. They both want the same thing but it’s always uncertain and can be an evening filled with trepidation when getting lucky happens for the first time between two people.
This is an instrumental track that leads us into the next; there is nothing special here.
Whilst listening to this track you really get the feeling that something special is about to happen, but it doesn’t. This is a chill track that ends with the naturist sounds of a babbling brook. Nuff said.
11. “Fragments of Time” (featuring Todd Edwards)
I could swear that in the beginning of this track I heard a riff from Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney. I’m probably wrong but either way, the album picks up just a little bit during this song.
12. “Doin’ It Right” (featuring Panda Bear)
This is an odd song that has an immovable marching cadence from beginning to end. It does not add or take away any momentum from the album but it does allow the listener time to reflect on the album thus far. It has good lyrics and a slow beat.
13. “Contact” (featuring DJ Falcon)
The last song on this album immediately reminded me of “High Roller” by Crystal Method. It has a live band sound to it that launches and descends but never really explodes. It seems to me to be a post modern bit of Daft Punk music; weird for the sake of weird.
So, in conclusion I would say the first half of the album is much better the last half. Get Lucky should have been the final track of what should have been a 45 minute album. I’m not disappointed but I was underwhelmed, especially as a mad fan of their Alive 2007 album which was a rough and tumble live journey of their best music. They did well by releasing Get Lucky as the teaser trailer for this album as the song did a great job of anchoring the center of the album. I would recommend their album, Discovery as an intro into what Daft Punk is all about. This one, Random Access Memories is a progression of their music and does not in my opinion represent them in and of themselves. This album is great but would have been better had it been half the length it was presented. Cheers!