Album review: Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

Daft Punk's new album is a distillation of pop's better moments of the last four decades. Picture: PA
Daft Punk's new album is a distillation of pop's better moments of the last four decades. Picture: PA
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Like the ubiquitous single Get Lucky, Daft Punk’s new album is a distillation of pop’s better moments of the last four decades.

Daft Punk

Random Access Memories

Decca, £14.99

****

With some uplifting and unexpected embellishments courtesy of Nile Rodgers’ guitar chops, and Giorgio Moroder’s immaculately produced disco dialogue, this is the sound of the leftfield straddling the mainstream.

Another guest collaborator, Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, blends in admirably, as the nearly fortysomethings Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christothrow elegant shapes while strutting their Studio 54 stuff.

But this is no dance album. Rather the majority of pop’s peculiarities are parcelled up here for your delectation. There are suggestions of Steely Dan’s sophistication here and there, juxtaposed with our French friends’ soaring synths sending Lose Yourself To Dance skywards. Give Life Back To Music is open bravura, but Touch sounds like a gatecrasher from a West End musical, featuring a luvvie guest vocal from Paul Williams which is somewhat at odds with the character elsewhere. Pharrell Williams is commendable in all his guest appearances, while Panda Bear brings welcome variation with Doing It Right.

A cleverly cohesive album which may yet prove to be one of the defining releases of the year.

Download this: Lose Yourself To Dance, Doing It Right