Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’: Review Revue

Robbie Daw | May 21, 2013 10:52 am

In our own review of Daft Punk‘s much-hyped and uber-buzzed-about fourth album, we noted that “Random Access Memories is many things: a gamble, a Genesis scroll of Daft Punk’s musical DNA, a mesmerizing summation of their career to this point and a dynamic jumping-off point for the next phase of their creative evolution. Oh, and also, it’s fun.” And for the most part, online critics seem to agree that by abandoning the use of samples and digital technology this time around, the arbiters of French electro-pop have presented us with sonic, cerebral journey through time that is as thrilling as it is ambitious.

Head below for our roundup of what the Internet at large had to say about Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.

:: Pitchfork gives the album high marks, and notes, “You never know, but my guess is that people will be listening to Random Access Memories a decade hence, just like we’re still listening to Discovery now. You’ll forget the YouTube interviews with the collaborators, you’ll forget the day they announced the suits, you’ll forget the day the ‘Get Lucky’ snippet leaked, you’ll forget every rumor, you’ll forget the SNL commercials. But the record will remain, something that channels the past but sounds like little else right now, an album about rediscovery that’s situated in the constantly-shifting present.”

:: SPIN conjured up these comparisons: “Here’s why ‘Touch’ is the album’s centerpiece: It sounds like the Muppets if Miss Piggy were Donna Summer and Kermit were Barry Gibb. Nodding to Cabaret and The Wiz, employing a children’s choir and a string section, spanning decades, moods, sonic textures, and varying degrees of decent musical judgment, ‘Touch’ epitomizes RAM‘s ambitions: grandiose to a fault, but hard not to love.”

:: The A.V. Club zeroes in on the duo’s mission with the record: “Random Access Memories is also an all-out war on the current single-song consumption model, striking right at the heart of the beast: Its only official pre-release was a single, inseparable album-long stream on iTunes, the platform that has nearly killed the album format in a barrage of 99-cent individual tracks. Indeed, if there’s one recent event in modern music that seems to have inspired the record, it’s the gargantuan mega-production that is Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

:: Consequence Of Sound finds Daft Punk to be human after all: “This tale of robots yearning to live like men is a motif soldered throughout the group’s multimedia career. But with Random Access Memories, the robots have found their souls. All it took was razing the digital foundations that brought the group to fame in the first place.”

:: The New York Daily News calls the album exciting, but also says, “It offers such a bold leap ahead for its genre, it’s sad that the songs aren’t as strong as they could have been. None have the genius of peak dance hits. Ultimately, that leaves Memories more an admirable reach than a perfect realization.”

:: Says the Guardian, “With RAM – a masterpiece complete with flaws – Daft Punk have shone a laser beam into dark corners of the 70s and 80s and made them sing again, with timbres more human than ever before.”

:: The Huffington Post sums RAM up this way: “A heady mix of delayed gratification songs that push boundaries, Random Access Memories is the mirror image of its authors: mysterious, challenging, brave and a little bit crazy.”

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