The release of Daft Punk’s new record Random Access Memories, along with the Wee Waa album launch party, is fast approaching. On Friday, 17th May the world will hear Random Access Memories in full and as the release draws nigh the album reviews will begin to pile up.
There is so much anticipation surrounding Random Access Memories it’s hard to imagine the LP will be able to withstand the scrutiny of critics. Then again, lead single Get Lucky is such an unabashedly joyful success, you really have to be a sad person not to enjoy its disco groove and instant-classic hook.
With that in mind, we cast our eyes to the first early reviews of Random Access Memories. The first comes from FACT, who headlines their review, “At points, it’s so prog it hurts”. Although FACT admits having only heard one play-through of the album at a listening party, and that alone is not enough for an in-depth review, the site still offers it’s initial thoughts.
FACT suggest that at times Daft Punk go overboard in their endeavour to recapture “a human, ’70s / ’80s session musician vibe” but the staggering ambition of Random Access Memories wins out in the end:
“At times, it’s like listening to a Disney soundtrack: the Paul Williams featuring ‘Touch’ is the worst example, but ‘Motherboard’, ‘Beyond’ and ‘The Game of Love’ are all pretty hammy.
“Overall though, it’s hard to not be blown away by the sheer size of this album. This is proper IMAX music – every drum hit sounds like it’s a million miles wide…”
Clash Music give a detailed track-by-track breakdown of Random Access Memories. Reviewer Matthew Bennett reiterates FACT’s impression of the aforementioned Touch, featuring Paul Williams, and Daft Punk’s apparent Disney complex:
“It’s really dragging on. We’re in a nightmarish delusion created by the short-circuitry of bad musical meets tired disco. Somewhere, [German ’90s boy band] Touché is in tears. Daft Punk’s Disney-fication continues strongly.”
Ouch. That said, Bennet is far more pleased with Instant Crush, featuring The Strokes‘ frontman Julian Casablancas:
“Lovely stuff, the lush west coast vibes are back. You can almost sense Fleetwood Mac having brunch with each other … the music this time has a lot more urgency, gilded keys colliding with thrilling air guitar moments.”
Based on these early reviews it seems the real hero of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories is Nile Rodgers. Featuring on Give Life Back to Music, Lose Yourself to Dance and, of course, Get Lucky, both reviews praise the disco virtuoso, with FACT noting “we’d have happily taken three more.”