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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 21, 2023

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Daft Punk’s new album sophisticated, smart

Random Access Memories

Grade: A

Daft Punk’s fourth studio album is more than music. It’s an experiment in sound that captures human and digital experiences as both opposing and complementary forces.

“Random Access Memories” is sophisticated, self-aware and smart.

Daft Punk basks its music in 1980s “synth-pop”, meaning the synthesizer is the main instrument. Mixing the synthesizer with emotional voices of performers such as Paul Williams, Panda Bear and Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk’s album expertly compounds digitalization and humanity to create something rarely done before.

Worldwide music sensation and Italian record producer Giorgio Moroder tells his discovery of music and use of the synthesizer in one of the album’s early songs, “Giorgio by Moroder.” A beautiful orchestral and electronic mix drives the story. Backed by an incredible work of musicianship, Giorgio’s tale is the microcosm for the macrocosm that is “Random Access Memories.”

The song “Within” is Daft Punk trying something new while staying on target. A very human piano accompaniment carries a digitalized voice: “I am lost / I cannot even remember my name.” The robotic falsetto voice is heartbreaking. It’s exemplifying a pain associated with robotics and digitization.

Daft Punk doesn’t mean to criticize technology. There’s a recurring struggle between order and liberation. The track that strategically follows “Within” is “Lose Yourself To Dance.” With a Michael Jackson feel, Pharrell recommends letting go because “I know you don’t get a chance to take a break this often / I know your life is speeding and it isn’t stopping.”

“Motherboard” showcases technology with a wide array of gorgeous instruments. You can almost see the electrons traveling along a circuit board.

“Touch” is one of two tracks that push the struggle to its limits. Robotic vocals transform into the humanizing voice of Paul Williams. “Touch,” he whispers. The song is liberated when Williams sings, “Kiss.” A 1920s instrumental break and a children’s choir create a humanizing experience.

The second track to push these themes is “Contact.” It begins with an astronaut’s voice-over from space. What better way to show the coexistence of humanity and technology than portraying the journey of an astronaut? The ending of the song and album is heart pounding.

Daft Punk epitomizes dance music, especially internationally. These tracks will fuel that success. Regardless, the true artistry of this album comes when it’s taken as a whole. The experimentation is what’s artistic, innovative and ultimately lasting about “Random Access Memories.”

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