Daft Punk, Random Access Memories Review

Nick Glennon

4.5 out of 5 stars

Electronic French duo Daft Punk returns with their fourth full length effort, Random Access Memories. This time the duo ventures into the genre of disco-funk.

Daft Punk is known for pushing limits and drawing a bit outside the lines with their music. Over the course of their career, they have experimented with hip-hop, french house, EDM and techno. However, their latest album is truly something else. On Random Access Memories the French duo experiments with a 70’s retro disco-funk type sound. You would think that it would sound quite outdated considering disco-funk is a music trend that has far disappeared from the mainstream. However, Daft Punk puts their own 21st century spin on it with a more electronic multi-layered feel and the typical auto-tuned robot voices. Sounds pretty crazy for a typically electronic group to experiment with such an outdated genre. However, the end results are actually quite sensational.

Commercial tracks like “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance” – both of which feature singing by Pharrell Williams – are melodic and about as catchy as it gets. However, those are far from the only highlights on this stellar album. “Touch” featuring Paul Williams is also an excellent track. It’s very interesting because it features the typical Daft Punk electro robot singing, followed by emotional singing by Paul Williams and then finally capped off by some more slowed down robot voices. “Motherboard” and “Fragments of Time” are also standout tracks. “Motherboard” sounds like something out of the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever mixed with more futuristic sounds and of course, the robot voices. “Fragments of Time” on the other hand is a very emotional melody featuring Todd Edwards singing about living life in the moment.

The album is an outstanding effort from start to finish. At times it’s extremely upbeat and catchy but at other times it can be more slowed down while still maintaining it’s melody. It can be a hard album to listen to at first because it’s really nothing like any other popular music out there. I would have to say that it’s a close rival to Kanye West’s Yeezus for the award of Most Polarizing Album of the Year. However, love or hate the Daft Punk sound you have to respect the multi-layered electronic melodies behind the album. It’s complex and finely engineered – definitely worth the eight year wait since Daft Punk’s last album, Human After All. It’s far from boring and if you like the album then it will be extremely hard to put down. All in all it’s a very solid album and one of the best of the year if not the best. A very worthy winner of the “Album of the Year” Grammy if I do say so myself. The robot voices are taking over kids.