To start, for those of you who don’t really know any of Daft Punk’s music you need to check them out, and by that I mean don’t just listen to their most famous singles, as I’m sure most of you would have heard tracks such as ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’, ‘Around The World’ and ‘One More Time’… NO, go and give them a proper listen as only then will you begin to understand the enormous impact they have had on house music, as in my opinion they are one of the most influential artists for both their time and genre. It has been 8 years since they released their last studio album, so ‘Random Access Memories’ has had a lot of hype and very high expectations from all Daft Punk fans, which for many has been a big shock and maybe even a disappointment, but for me it has superseded every expectation I had.
This album is different, inventive and creative, and although it has only few similarities to their previous work, the new edge is still very Daft Punk. Their previous work such as ‘Homework’, ‘Human After All’ and ‘Discovery’ were all mostly electronic, and it was this that predominantly characterized their style, any Daft Punk fan would instantly recognise the robotic vocoder on vocal tracks, synthesised melodies and the dancey electronic drums that we hear in hits such as ‘Technologic’ but in ‘Random Access Memories’ their sound has changed rapidly, though they haven’t replaced their signature sounds completely, they have brought in more live instrumentation, such as drum sets being used and guitars being used in the place of a synth, the biggest difference of all however being the shift from the typical robotic vocal sound to real live vocals. ‘Get Lucky’, the first single from the album being a song that shows all of this. The opening track ‘Bring Life Back to Music’ sets the tone for the entire album, as I feel that is exactly what they’re trying to do. Mainstream music has become very generic, repetitive and boring in recent years and hearing Daft Punk in the charts is like a breath of fresh air, and a step toward an era of more enlightened and interesting music.
A key feature that seems to spread throughout this album is the funky and smooth feel of the live guitar, bass and drums such as in both ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’. Even in other songs such as ‘Touch’ and other more experimental tracks that more groovy feel is within almost everything, popping up here and there surprising us in every song. The funky sound however is nothing new, proven through one of Daft Punks first hits ‘Da Funk’, it is clearly something that has always influenced their music. So if you’re not so much into house music and the sounds of their previous albums, then this album will probably be more to your taste, but if you are into their old more electro sound, then you probably wont like the more live feel of this album. Daft Punk have always been brilliant at creating more ambient and ballad like tracks, such as ‘Something Between Us’ on the album ‘Discovery’, which is one of my personal favourites. ‘The Game of Love’ proves that they are still more than capable of creating these songs as well as hit dance tracks, they are forever proving themselves to be flexible and ever-changing.
To sum up, yes, ‘Random Access Memories’ is a brilliant album, it is new and interesting and a break from Daft Punks original house/synthpop sound, it is something fresh but also something quite chic, it is not what any Daft Punk fan would expect, and if you’re not a Daft Punk fan then it’ll make you dance and at points make you wonder what the hell you’re even listening to, but none the less it is a truly exceptional album that is more than worth a listen.
Thank you for reading.