Daft Punk ‘Gets Lucky’ With Random Access Memories

Daft Punk Gets Lucky With Random Access Memories

Pat Connell

Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' is the first studio album by them since 2005's Human After All
Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ is the first studio album by them since 2005’s Human After All

Daft Punk is and has been one of the most critically beloved electronic music acts since its release of the single “Da Funk” back in 1995. The French duo have already released three albums to much fervor, with 2001’s Discovery commonly being regarded as the most cherished. This is not surprising, as some of their highest charting singles have come from the album, like “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and “One More Time.” Their newest release, Random Access Memories, has brought even more acclaim to Daft Punk, and upon listening, one can hear why this praise is so rightfully deserved.

Starting the album is the song “Give Life Back to Music,” which does exactly what the title suggests by reminiscing about ’70s soul music through its instrumentation. The only thing separating this from music 40 years older is the operatic bridge to the song and the waning computer voices of Daft Punk. Similar to this song is the leading single from the album, “Get Lucky.” R&B singer Pharrell Williams lends his voice to this lust filled song, and it works very well, as Daft Punk themselves may not have been able to pull off the vocals as smoothly as Williams. Williams also sings on the song “Lose Yourself to Dance,” and this track achieves the goal in the title as well. With its infectious rhythm and collage of melodies occurring at the same time, one cannot help but be entranced and move to the song at times.

The album also has its fair share of big name performers who are featured, such as Julian Casablancas of the Strokes and Panda Bear of Animal Collective. “Doin’ It Right,” the song Panda Bear lends his voice to, is one of the catchiest tracks on the album. Much of the track is laid low to accentuate the jovial use of autotune. “Instant Crush,” the Casablancas song, is much more obviously auto-tuned— a technique that Casablancas experimented with for the newest Strokes album released earlier this year, Comedown Machine. “Instant Crush” is not as strong as “Doin’ It Right,” but it does have more of a complexity going for it.

There are some moments though— spread throughout the album sparingly— that may be off-putting to some potential listeners. For instance, the third track “Giorgio by Moroder” contains about two minutes worth of voice over done by the man in the title about his life growing up with music. The song is a nine-minute epic and is composed quite intricately, so it is worth the listen, but the first section may just be uncomfortable for some.

Random Access Memories is a fantastic album that could be enjoyed by all. There is at least one song on the album for everyone— that is, as  long as listeners enjoy soul or electronic music. The new release is strong enough throughout that it could be a contender for the album of the year, and it could potentially mark the defining moment of Daft Punk’s career.