From their 15 second teaser on Saturday Night Live to their official album launch in Wee Waa NSW, Daft Punk‘s Random Access Memories was one of the most anticipated albums of not only the year, but maybe even ever. This of course begged the question: Does it live up to the hype?
The best saying for this is “aim low and you’ll never be disappointed,” which, albeit somewhat demotivational, does allow for a ‘better than expected’ result. The French duo were being very ambitious by creating such a buzz, but can we expect any less from Daft Punk? The same Daft Punk that brought us Interstellar 5555 (the anime style visual component to Discovery), the same Daft Punk that have created an enigmatic empire whilst wearing robotic helmets, and the same Daft Punk that made us all ask: “Wee Whaaaat?” I wish I could say “this is the best album of our lifetime,” I’d love to even go as far as “a record for the ages,” but unfortunately it just isn’t.
For everywhere RAM lacks, there is an equally smooth and velvety groove to combat it. Unfortunately, this creates a very inconsistent album that has too many lull moments for it to be an overall winner in my books.
The whole album is layered with 70’s funk, reminiscent of those fuzzy guitar solos and sweet licks we all grew up on. I’ll give credit where credit due; it is an extremely fun and upbeat type of record that has been filled to the brink with A-list cameos (please see Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas, Nile Rodgers etc).
Stand out tracks are the album’s seductive intro track ‘Give Life Back to Music,’ which brings you up to a subtle groove to set the tone for the whole album. Prediction: ‘Instant Crush’ will be a future hit, with Julian Casablancas lending his vocals and a very sexy bass line to boot. Other notable mentions go to: ‘Lose Yourself to Dance,’ ‘Doin’ It Right’ and of course, the single ‘Get Lucky.’
Tracks to skip: ‘The Game Of Love’ (zzzzzz), ‘Within’ (snore) and ‘Motherboard’ (snooze fest).
Daft Punk have delivered an exceptionally well marketed album, which unfortunately has an overall lacklustre feel. It is definitely worth a spin, but worth 2 spins? Maybe not.
One thing that has definitely emerged from the backside of the RAM release is a new wave of marketing within music. With ‘Yeezus’ by Kanye West being screened on buildings across the world, it looks like Daft Punk have once again pushed the envelope and hopefully we can expect to see bigger and better things in the future.
Star rating: 3.5 out of 5.