Daft Punk’s long-awaited new album actually lives up to the hype

One More Time: Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo are back at it.
Smith Galtney

It’s tempting to give this album a five-star rating, just because albums like this don’t exist anymore. A disco LP made with real drums and real strings, recorded on old-fashioned analog tape, it’s also a genuine “event” album—a hotly anticipated blockbuster with a Tarantino-esque cast of cool kids (Julian Casablancas, Panda Bear, Pharrell) and cultish forebears Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Williams). Best of all, it sounds even better on wax than it does on paper!

Well, at least 85 to 90 percent of it does. “Lose Yourself to Dance,” one of two Pharrell collaborations, is dull and too long. I wish “Giorgio by Moroder” featured more than just a sampled interview with the man. I want the dance-y part of “Touch,” the eight-minute Paul Williams opus, to go on longer than the showtune-y part. (Not that there’s anything wrong with showtunes, but if some Soundcloud-happy DJ is down for a homemade rejiggering, consider this a none-too-subtle hint.) And while the prog-rock excursions are, uh, tres proggy, they nevertheless add a lush, epic feel to what is a truly epic album.

The Details

Four stars
Daft Punk
Random Access Memories

Some fans will miss the filtered loops and thudding kick drums that Daft Punk built its career upon, but despite all the live orchestrations and real-time rhythms and the appearance of a Stroke, whose voice gets deliciously vocoder-ized, Random Access Memories still flaunts a big ’n’ cheesy robot heart. May it sell gazillions of copies and inspire many more like it.


Previous Discussion:

  • The Los Angeles County coroner says Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, who sold millions of albums with a unique mix of hard rock, hip-hop and ...

  • “We’re, to some degree, celebrating life. The fact that we’re all still alive.”

  • A friend of mine had a business opportunity … He wanted to do something with MTV and promote it to young girls. He thought we ...

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story