on 20 May 2013
When you hear 'Daft Punk', the first thing that comes to mind is that classic vocoder, the heavy-hooking melodies, the pounding rhythmic beat of the drums to the modular synths in the background. Random Access Memories is, without a doubt Daft Punk, but it's a sign of how the group is evolving. The signature sound is still there, but don't expect this to be a hard electro, hard pumping album.
Random Access Memories knows what it is, and Daft Punk knew what they were making when they were making it. This album brings feeling back into music. It brings back that human, natural emotive sensation you get when you listen to a song that's been constructed with all the finest details considered. 'Get Lucky', a song that we're now all too familiar with, took 18 months alone to create.
A lot of people say that this album is 'Too much collaboration, not enough Daft Punk'. But if you think this, you're missing the point. Daft Punk have hidden their identities. They want to be about the music. They want to create something real and different and they're well capable of creating tracks like 'One More Time' again. But this album has a touch of class, it's so refreshing. I has the modern feel with the subtle tang of those delicious 80's guitar licks, the soulful vocals and smooth basslines and drum beats. It has that incredibly cool Daft Punk vibe about it, but it's something different and it's something I love. Great album.
on 23 September 2014
As a huge Daft Punk fan I cannot say that this is an impartial review but for me the album is an instant classic and will be something you listen to for decades to come. Daft Punk seamlessly blend a retro vibe with contemporary song making and a huge list of ensemble artists and live musicians to "Give life back to music". Taking its cues from electronic music but ditching the synths and drum machines of the past, Random Access Memories is a polished gem of music production.
But its not everyones cup of tea, and not every Daft punk fan's either!
If Discovery is your favourite daft punk album, you'll like this a lot! If "Digital Love" is your favourite Daft Punk Song then you will LOVE this album.
However if you are a big fan of Daft Punk's "Homework" album then this might not be the one for you. Listen to the previews and Judge for yourself.
on 7 April 2014
I think it’s a safe bet that no respectable music fan would be able to compile a Top 10 list of the year’s best music without including Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories somewhere. Almost prog rock in its scope, Daft Punk’s fourth album Random Access Memories is an ambitious tour-de-force from the French techno duo.
Using live musicians and eschewing the particular brand of sample-based house music that made their name, the opening guitar riff on ‘Give Life Back to Music’ throws the door open to a new era of EDM, seguing into a lilting funk groove which only the involvement of Nile Rodgers could muster. The ex-Chic guitarist’s mastery is ever-present on smash hit comeback single ‘Get Lucky,’ the near-ubiquitous nu-disco ‘70s groove guaranteed to get anyone dancing whatever their stance on bellbottoms and flairs.
As is the custom – guest slots aside – Daft Punk’s robotic vocals are enabled by Thomas de Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo’s use of vocoder. This enables the duo’s use of melodies to have an air of detachment amplified in their existential lyrics in what is ostensibly a concept album, with Random Access Memories referring most explicitly to parallels between human memory and computer data storage (RAM).
Most rock fans have always appreciated how coming up with riffs has always been Daft Punk’s specialty, despite their level of fame on the club-headlining circuit. They’ll be pleased with ‘Giorgio by Moroder’ which uses snippets of an interview with synth pop pioneer Giorgio Moroder to tell the story of the evolution of electronic music, kicking off with a modular synthesizer to bash out what is probably the most atypical Daft Punk riff on the album.
“Once you free your mind about the concept of harmony and music being correct,” we hear Giorgo Moroder tell us, “you can do whatever you want, so nobody told me what to do and there was no preconception of what to do.” In what is clearly a glimpse into Daft Punk’s own musical philosophy, the song then genre-hops into a flourish of classical orchestration, before finally exploding into a synth-heavy jam session replete with ‘rock star’ guitar soloing.
Everything Moroder’s mission statement implies – from the honky-tonk music hall of ‘Touch’, the piano-based melancholy of ‘Within’, the bombastic string arrangements on ‘Beyond’, to its suggestive UFO-inspired sci-fi conclusion ‘Contact’ – expresses Daft Punk’s musical diversity better than anything they’ve ever done before. Above all, what makes Random Access Memories so essential is how immaculate the production is.
Make no mistake, this is a modern classic equivalent to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon – in fact, if you’re ever testing out a new sound system, stick on this album and crank it up to 11. You won’t regret it.
on 6 June 2013
I have been a daft punk fan for quite a few years now, and there was not a single song on this album I did not like. Out of their 4 studio albums this is their 2nd best, discovery still being my favourite album of all time. when give life back to music opens up, heavy guitar strums and drums hit your ears, and then the most amazing riff begins its so groovy and infectious, then suddenly you get the vocoder's that daft punk are known for and they just fit perfectly together "Let the music in tonight, just turn on the music" instantly I was amazed at how great it sounded and gave me high hopes at what I was about to hear, and I was not disappointed with collabs such as giorgio moroder and julian casablancas. I will admit there were a few small short comings such as motherboard (which I like alot it was just not what I expected) and contact which can strain the ears with the loud noises near the end of the album, but overall not one sound is bad and I like them all. Nile Rodgers made this album though, with the 3 best tracks "Give life back to music, Lose yourself to dance and Of course Get lucky" his work is incredible, and Pharrells vocals are superb also! In short, if you love 70's disco 80's pop or just love music, get this album! My mum loved it and she did not like daft punk before. Well Done Guy-man and Thomas, yet again you have set the bar for music in my eyes.
on 1 July 2013
I first heard the Get Lucky track on LL's show on Radio 6 music and consequently decided I wanted to hear all the tracks and see what all the fuss was about. Generally, I would say 75% of the tracks are really good especially the one that tells you how the synthesizer music was brought to life in Germany. Once you hear Georgio talk about how he thought about the music of the future and then think about all the bands that use a synthesizer you'll be going "Ahhh, so it's all down to him".
on 20 May 2013
Don't normally write reviews, but feel I should put my thoughts down.
I have followed Daft Punk since the early days, nobody can argue that they have always produced a stimulating experience with their recordings.
With RAM they have produced an album of pure quality. The recordings sound alive and luxurious. To my ears, it seems like the natural progression from the previous three albums, from guys of around my age.
There is a detail and balance in the recordings, which I have not experienced from a new release for some time. At the same time it is audacious, schizophrenic and bonkers but still hangs together.
The art of correct track running order is back with a vengeance.
This album bucks the trend (which I have also found myself joining in with) of music fans getting instant gratification from quick downloads of single tracks. This is a complete album, it needs to be given respect and listened to as a whole. It builds and drops, ebbs and flows, and in the end leaves you feeling satisfied, like you've have a good musical meal.
This album is not only an anthology of dance/funk/disco, it is an anthology of all music and if you like, understand and appreciate music and the concepts behind it, then you should love it.
After streaming it free on iTunes last week and enjoying the "live" sound, I even decided to buy this one on vinyl, which I haven't done for years.
on 6 December 2014
It's good to let a record sink in, no point rushing into a review, I liked the third album by the Stereo MCs but only after about a decade after its release, and only partially. musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter never really pierced my consciousness before Random Access Memories - some 90s stuff on the radio but ye ye in the 90s like so what, so what. Around the world - around the world - around the worldpad ad infinitum.nausueam
"You can send a forget me not" as the Stereo MCs lyric says. The future doesn't matter, nothing lasts but the dark.
on 16 January 2016
I bought this album because I like some of their stuff but very much because Stuff's website lists it amongst 30 albums for audiophiles and I've recently become a little bit of one of them. It doesn't disappoint - or hasn't me. They recorded with real instruments not keyboard created ones, used excellent musicians not simply average session ones and for example guest appearances on more than one track from Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. The description on Stuff's website describes it as a love letter to disco and I like energising music but I think it's more.
Knowing Daft Punk through one other album and radio played singles I actually expected something more dancey across whole album but there are some genuinely mellow tracks and love songs. My old headphones were good but falling apart and I chose to get a studio quality pair (Beyerdynamic DT770 if you're interested) and recently got my first headphone amp. If you don't know what they are or if worth getting one, google them. I got an entry level Fiio A3 and only a small difference but I can hear the difference. Definitely worth looking to get it if you use an ipod or phone a lot. So hence me calling myself a bit of an audiophile. The sound quality is like thousands of pounds worth of hi fi according to the magazines and I can't afford that in a hi fi but in my humble opinion it seems like it - a very different and much much better listening experience.
At age 46 I don't often buy albums now; have eclectic tastes including things like this which give me energy and well recorded (for example an Arcade Fire album I really like but sounded like it was recorded in a small padded bathroom or something on my previous £120 speakers!) through to bits of classical and I've not regretted buying this on Stuff's recommendation. Really very good for a number of reasons.
on 6 June 2013
It's not often that the word 'masterpiece' is used correctly. I'm almost 30 years old, and in living memory I can only really see it applying to a handful of albums. Discovery, Daft Punk's second album being one of them. But in the instance of Random Access Memories, it doesn't even begin to cover what the duo, and their named collaborators have achieved here.
First off, aside perhaps from the overplayed-but-still-brilliant 'Get Lucky', this isn't an instant album. You need to work at it, listen to it, digest it. And following the work you'll put in, the rewards will come, and they will keep on giving. This album is a massive middle finger up to the throwaway instapop that dominates mainstream music charts - perhaps a movement Daft Punk themselves are a little guilty of encouraging, albeit not necessarily conciously.
RAM isn't clamouring for attention, and it's not desperate for praise. It's intelligent, considered, measured and very, very well recorded. Self-indulgent? Quite the opposite. The overall impression I get from the album is one of respect for both the listener, and for those pioneering musicians who made the original music that laid the foundation for Daft Punk's very own existence. The only things that Daft Punk have made matter on this album are the music, and suitable recognition for the artists who made it possible.
Try and imagine a time before iTunes, YouTube, Spotify et al; put down, or better still, turn off your smartphone; sit down and disconnect from the world around you, and concentrate on something worthy of your uninterrupted attention. Random Access Memories provides a moment of real in a world of virtual.
If you don't understand what this album is trying to do, then I suspect you probably don't really understand what Daft Punk have spent the last two decades trying to do, either.
on 30 April 2015
This is such a grower, and they've dragged in some great artists; Nile Rogers, Pharrell etc. I listen mainly to Indie, Classical, Rock or Alternative. I bought this out of curiosity as I had just snapped up some high def. audio equipment, and heard this would give it a good workout and was also a good listen too. Electronica/Dance is something that will always be up for criticism if it falls short in terms of originality, or perceived effort that's been judged as being put into such work, and hey I totally agree. If it's lazily written/produced garbage then say so , but by crikey, this has left my jaw on the floor. The intricate melodies, lyrical sensitivity on certain tracks 'Within', subtleties and the almost crescendo-like, or melodic and rhythmic variations, and homage to where this music originated at the end of 'Giorgio' & 'Motherboard' tracks are a great workout for the best audiophile system. But then again, putting all that aside, just simply great music! Loads of influences scattered throughout the album, I spoke to a workmate today about this gem I'd found, and he stated he was traumatised by the previous repetition of 'Daft...' tracks such as 'All around the world'. and I saw where he was coming from, but this album is on a different level. I'm still digging more and more out of this the more I listen. This is such a clever album.