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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.
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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.
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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.
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on 25 May 2013
Superb. Mature. Soulful. Funky and lots of moog modular synthesizer. And no compression/loudness war ruining it. Old school disco with daft punk twist. Sound quality is audiophile. Excellent recording techniques good bass extension crystal clear. If your over 40 you will get it. If your under 25 perhaps not. Children love it. Its time pop music grew up again and daft punk has reset the bench mark. No duff tracks, a tour de force of intellegent witty and full of humanity. Recommended especially if you have high end stereo or top headphones.
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on 12 August 2016
I was wildly excited for this record, especially with the media advertising blitz getting everyone hyped for the release and the huge collaborative announcements. Unfortunately, in comparison with earlier Daft Punk efforts this is a lesser album for me. I can appreciate the classic elements and really do appreciate Daft Punk's constant ability to do exactly as they please and damn the consequences or opinions of anyone else but I just didn't feel that this album was nearly as progressive as everything that has come before. To me this is a band who is always looking forward even when creating homage to the roots of the past. RAM, while as usual technically brilliant, just doesn't hold a candle to its predecessors and nor do I think will it ever outshine.
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on 20 May 2013
I'm a huge fan of Daft Punk and have been for the past decade or so. It's been a long wait for us since Human After All was released back in 2005 to mixed reviews but I have to say it's been 100% worth it. This is not only the best album of the year but a strong contender for album of this century!!
Every track on this stunning album is mesmerising with it's tune playing through my mind for the rest of the day. The album, however, is a definite change for the duo, and a bold one at that. Stepping away from their electro house past of Homework and Discovery and moving towards a genre that I don't think can be defined. The only way I can describe it is 70/80s jazz funk from an alternate universe!
This is a bold step as it has the potential to alienate their loyal followers who love their old styles but I believe Thomas and Guy-Manuel have pulled it off it an incredible fashion.
If you begin RAM with expectations of those 'classic' Daft Punk tracks you've loved over the past 20 years then I'm afraid you'll most likely leave disappointed. Many people say "This isn't what I was expecting" or "this isn't like Daft Punk". But you can't anticipate what they'll do; Discovery was nothing like Homework and Human After All was a world away from both.

I would say that this album is 'different' which is exactly what music today needs, the whole album is basically a message telling us how today's music is made on laptops in bedrooms, not on instruments in studios. Whilst this may be all well and good the music of most DJs lacks heart and soul. Luckily Daft Punk have put enough soul into RAM to compensate. Every track feels so heartfelt, as though you can heart the effort that went into producing them.
My recommendation would be at least 3 play-throughs of the whole thing before you make a decision as some songs, esp. Contact, Touch and Giorgio by Moroder are very alternative and don't quite make a good impression until their 2nd or 3rd listening.
All in all this is an astounding album which can be enjoyed by old and new fans alike, just don't expect a remake of Discovery or you'll be sorely dissapointed.
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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.
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on 20 May 2013

1. Give Life Back To Music - A definite dancefloor filler full of funky rhythms and those trademark robotic vocals. A great album opener that hits you right from the start with its climatic intro and doesn't give up until the end. 5/5
3. Giorgio By Moroder - The albums most ambitious, layered song that delves into a variety of sounds very successfully. It begins with an interesting narration from Giorgio Moroder before a funky backing cuts in. Then things take a turn into unmistakeable Daft Punk territory with an extremely catchy synth riff which stays around for most of the remainder of the song. We then head into a section with jazz piano and guitar before an orchestral breakdown...and that's when things really get exciting. This song could do with editing down as it slightly fizzles out before the end but this is an excellent song for the most part. It is however, not a song i would revisit as much as the others due to the length and the narration. 4/5
4. Within - A slow paced, melancholic soft pop number with robotic vocals and twinkly piano lines. The chorus is gorgeous. The only slow paced song on the album that i really liked. 4/5
5. Instant Crush - Slightly downbeat in tone with a chugging guitar and thoughtful synths and the robotic vocals go well with the song. The chorus is really great. It does sound like a Strokes song which is no coincidence since their singer, Julian Casablancas, does the vocal duties. 4/5
8. Get Lucky - An absolute belter. Utterly infectious and Pharrell William's vocals go really well with the song. 5/5
12. Doin It Right - Bound to be a huge hit. The robotic hook and Panda Bear's vocals mesh together to make a really uplifting song. One of the albums best alongside Get Lucky. 5/5


6. Lose Yourself To Dance - Another funky guitar tune. Not as good or immediate as Live Life Back To Music or Get Lucky but still a decent song despite being slightly monotonous and lifeless. It just kind of plods along although the robotic vocals liven things up a bit when they kick in. 3/5
7. Touch - The strangest song on the album. Very theatrical with grand chord changes, a childrens choir and a big buildup. It does take a while to get going but once it kicks into gear it becomes very joyous and incredibly uplifting with a refrain of 'if love is the answer then hold on, hold on'. I would give it a higher score if the intro was trimmed down a lot. 3/5
10. Motherboard - A gorgeous instrumental. I would describe it as dreamlike. Loses steam towards the end though 3/5
13. Contact - A big number powered by icy, bittersweet keyboards and NASA dialogue during the intro. A mixture of prog rock and dance. The song has a very triumphant, determined feel about it. Gets very exhilarating during the middle when things get super charged but is let down by a bloated, elongated ending filled with feedback noises which i'm sure was there to add a certain character to the song but i found it a tad dull. I have to say that the song would have more impact if it was played without live instruments and had a bit more of an electronic beat. If it was made during the Discovery album i'm sure i'd like it more. A satisfactory closer nonetheless. 3/5


2. Game Of Love - A slow paced number with a sensual air about it with its clipped funk guitar, echoing keyboards and yearning robotic vocals. Very ordinary and lacks a decent chorus. The first song on the album that outstays its welcome. 2/5
9. Beyond - Laid back funk tune with robotic vocals mostly propelled by a catchy bassline. I myself found it very boring and felt like skipping for most of the song. There isn't much energy there which is a problem when the music is so uninspiring. The orchestral intro was a bit misjudged too although it was brief. 2/5
11. Fragments Of Time - Upbeat mid tempo pop number again mostly powered by a bassline. The chorus has a certain charm to it with its wonky synths and the pace picks up near the end before the final chorus but apart from that it's really nothing special and not something i'd want to revisit. 2/5

Summary: Contains some excellent tunes and teeters on the edge of being a real must own album but is let down by a few of the slower numbers towards the end and a few songs could have been edited down slightly. But apart from that, this is an exceptional pop/dance album and is sure to go down as one of the most assured, ambitious, eclectic and downright enjoyable albums of 2013.
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on 20 May 2013
This album has an emotive quality that I've not experienced in recent memory, it has a charm, a quirky fun, music loving vibe, you will not be able to sit still when playing this.

It's uplifting, it's moving, it's joyful and somehow life affirming, this album really chills me out, I couldn't recommend it more.
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on 5 October 2016
An all-time classic must-experience album. They spent four years making it and it really shows with a truly meticulous production quality that shines through every single song. Superb mixing, gorgeous sound quality, a mesmerising album you can dance to.
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