Daft Punk has moved on from EDM to a sound it has described as more warm and organic, visiting the '70s and early '80s and, in particular, the disco part of that era, and it has replaced its electronic gadgets with live instruments and retro synthesizers.
While the '70s-'80s disco scene has always flowed in Daft Punk's veins, with “Discovery” especially being somewhat of a tribute to it by sampling songs from the period and bringing them back to the modern day, “Random Access Memories” takes a step further and wants to be the real deal rather than just a tribute. Daft Punk has drafted legends of the era like Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder into the studio and utilized instruments of the period to craft its music. It's two disco fanatics fulfilling their wild desires and ambitions, ignoring what everyone else is doing or saying.
Sound self-indulgent? It is. “Random Access Memories” carries all the signs of an album in which no one outside its creators was allowed to say a word and which has been “perfectionistically” worked on for years in the depths of studios. It's 75 minutes long, carries songs so ambitious they veer toward pretentious in shape of multi-part suites and extended jams built around spoken word passages; treats ideas and sounds normally brushed off as corny or dated with respect and love; and generally shows zero regard for what anyone might think about it. And unlike what you'd expect from what is at first glance a disco album, it's not particularly dancey, either.
On the surface, it might be an album heavily rooted in one of the most iconic dance sounds of the recent music history, but in its essence, “Random Access Memories” is more of an auteur album, designed to tickle your brain rather than move your feet.
Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories' Rating: W W W W