Review of Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories”

Rating:

Since DP’s work on Tron: Legacy a few years back sounded like a robot-space-opera-love-story, I expected more of the same. Nope. Not even close. This is pretty good, but there are rough spots. At times, I wondered if I should keep going, or call it a night. It felt like having one of those types of evenings where you and your significant other decide to try out some freaky-shit after drinking a little too much. Should I review the album this way? Yeah, I think so.

Most of the album is really decent. It is quite obviously something the pair worked on for a while and the transfer of all that creative energy is certainly present. This is the kind of sex a couple has when they’ve been together a while and know how to rev one another’s respective engines. The standout songs on the album are, “Give Life back to Music,” “Lose Yourself to Dance,” “Get Lucky,” “Fragments of Time,” and “Doin’ it Right.” The former four tracks are solid, missionary and doggy-style work. The latter is slow, kinky cowgirl. She’s on top; All manner of things can be done from this position, a personal favorite. The song as well as the position.

The only song that really irked me, that chapped my ass, that ground my experience to a halt, was “Giorgio by Moroder.” If my ears had hands they’d have punched my face then plugged themselves. Up until now, Daft Punk’s new album reminded me of being on the receiving end of a life changing blow-job; the kind where you find yourself wondering who she’s been spending her time with. You’re into it, because hey, how could you not be, right? This is epic, XXX-rated-movie-with-a-budget, shit… Interrupted by your drunken Uncle on the West Coast calling because he’s drunk and depressed and your mom won’t answer the phone since he went to rehab for crack after stealing the second of her vehicles and you were always his favorite nephew… This song is all wrong. It doesn’t fit the flow of the album at all. The prior songs and the ones after this are of a completely different vibe altogether. More upbeat songs which I mentioned earlier saved the album for me, but Track 3 was touch and go. I really considered abandoning the entire endeavor. It sent me right back to the mid-1990’s when Daft Punk released “Around the World,” which for some reason blew the world’s mind. Simultaneously, it blew my lunch back out of my food hole. I hated that song with nuclear passion and this is a close second. I might have to put it up there with my Top 5 Most Annoying Songs of All Time.

Luckily, the album finishes strong with “Contact,” becoming the Electronica version of buildup to mutual orgasm which leaves your box-spring shattered and useless. It might be fun to sync that up some day. All in all, this is a darn decent album, and I’ll listen to again because it was a fun jam once I removed the accursed “Giorgio by Moroder,” track from my playlist. Considering that most of the songs are in the Top 100, I’d say the rest of the world likes it.

However, Random Access Memories, is not on the same level as The Crystal Method’s Vegas, or Hybrid’s Wide Angle, or even BT’s Movement in Still Life. While those albums had dull or drab moments within, at no point did I wish to turn off the music. I feel that this is part of the effect of music’s technological evolution. It seems now that collections of songs, known as albums, lack the flow I felt once was an inseparable part of the listening experience. For instance, listen to Alice In Chains Dirt, or Led Zeppelin’s ZOFO (IV), I’ll even go as far as Bjork’s Post. I suppose that my point is that an “album” of the past was intended to be listened to from beginning to end. Today, we develop favorite songs, but not really albums. Sure, artists still give a different feel to each successive work, but I don’t feel I recall which album each new song came from. This is now permeating electronic music as thoroughly as each other infected genre.

My final judgement is that I dig the album overall, but there are imbued aspects of it’s production, particularly where songs and sounds are placed, that annoy the ever-loving crap out of my ears. I have a sneaking feeling that it was the influence of the collaborators that “make” this record feel fresh in a world that acts tired of electronic music. The only thing left to explore is combining styles and seeing what pans out. So, in that respect it’s worth a listen. There are certainly songs worthy of sharing and enjoying, just skip Giorgio. Your friends will thank you.

 

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Rob Zimmerman

Veteran. Futurist. Writer. Humorist. Since Chuck Livid and I both plan to rule the world, it seems only right that we start as allies on a small media blog. Until then, I hope to publish entertaining articles and reviews, spreading information and comedy through the interwebs. Have a nice day. Do not, under any circumstances, forget to tip the waiter. Ever.

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