Top of the Pops: Random Access Memories

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September 23, 2013 by NowhereButPop

By Khalid Bennett

Today’s generation of pop music seems to be a little different than how I remember it to be. I don’t even know what genre of music I can call it. Is it hip-hop pop; is it dance pop; is it electronica; is it technopop? Whatever the genre is, it all sounds the same. They all have a party beat to it and when you think of a party, you think of techno music, or some variation of it. I”m just going to call it house music, for now. House music has been around since the late 1980s, but is now becoming the face of music today. This group that I’ll be reviewing is one of the many reasons why house music rose to popularity in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s. That group is Daft Punk.

Daft Punk has been in the music business since 1993. They were popular overseas in France, the UK, and other parts of Europe but they hadn’t reached success in the US. It was around 2001 when Daft Punk was known in the US. Their second album, Discovery, was a success commercially and had big hits such as “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”. Only releasing four albums during a 16 year span, Daft Punk is considered one of the most popular and maybe the most famous and successful names in house music today. Most people have probably heard at least two Daft Punk songs during their lifetime. If not an original, they’ve definitely heard a song that used a Daft Punk song as a sample (Stronger- Kanye West, Touch- Busta Rhymes, just to name a few).

I always liked Daft Punk but never listened to them a lot. The first song I ever heard from Daft Punk was “One More Time”. I have heard others, such as “Technologic” and “Around The World”. On May 17th, they released their fourth album, Random Access Memories. I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to listen to it. “Get Lucky” was the most popular single from that album but I still wasn’t so sure. Random Access Memories consists of 13 tracks.

After the critical reception of the album, I decided to give it a try and see what was up with Random Access Memories. I know it is September and the year isn’t over, but this might be the best album of 2013.

This album is exceptional. Everything about it is so good; it’s almost perfect. The thing I like best about Random Access Memories is that it’s not a techno/electronica album. Yes, there are techno and electronic aspects on this album but it’s so minute that you can’t call this album a techno album. The sounds of this album takes you back in time. It’s basically a mix of disco, funk, and pop all rolled into one. There are a few songs that are just techno but every song incorporates some type of disco, funk, R&B, and pop aspect. Every song is listenable and really good. I can see myself jamming (yes I said jamming) to a lot of the songs. The interesting thing is that the same songs can be listened to in a relaxed state of mind. I’m listening to it right now and it’s very relaxing and calm. You can even say that Random Access Memories is a feel-good album.

Daft Punk produced the whole album. They did a great job incorporating keyboards, synthesizers, guitars, bass, and drums in every song. There were other musicians such as Greg Leisz, Paul Jackson Jr., and Nile Rodgers who contributed their instruments to their album. Like I said, every song in this album is listenable and different throughout the album. You can listen from beginning to end and be satisified at any point.

Daft Punk does use some artists to help them with vocals. Featured artists include Julian Casablancas, Paul Williams, Todd Edwards, Panda Bear, and Pharrell Williams.

Here is the tracklist:

1. Give Life Back To Music- starts out with guitars and is very funk with simple lyrics

2. The Game Of Love- another funk type song and kind of relaxing…it’s listenable

3. Giorgio By Moroder- Giorgio Moroder is a famous songwriter and record producer…he basically talks his music journey with instrumental in the beginning…the whole song is a mix of funk, disco, electronic, with a mix of pop in the end

4. Within’*- very relaxing and simple…I love the piano intro and its use throughout the song

5. Instant Crush* (feat. Julian Casablancas)- good vocals by Julian Casablancas…a good party song

6. Lose Yourself To Dance* (feat. Pharrell)- great vocals by Pharrell and guitars by Nile Rodgers, Jr….very funk like…definitely a party song…the second single of the album

7. Touch* (feat. Paul Williams)- this is my favoirte song on this album…starts out slow but the lyrics come in around two minutes into it…first starts out with a funk sound then has instruments galore…it slows down again and has the best ending with strings and the harmonical singing in the background…sounds similar to “Get Lucky”

8. Get Lucky* (feat. Pharrell)- very funk and pop and party type song…first single off the album

9. Beyond- I like the strings in the beginning…it’s listenable

10. Motherboard- it’s listenable

11. Fragments Of Time (feat. Todd Edwards)- very pop and funk…I like the instruments and vocals by Todd Edwards…it’s listenable

12. Doin’ It Right (feat. Panda Bear)- the third single off the album…it’s listenable

13. Contact- A cool way to end the album…lots of synthesizers and drums used

Rating:

9.6/10- Classic

Random Access Memories is by far Daft Punk’s best album. The music is out of this world and it’s their best album commercially, selling 2.5 million records worldwide and 800,000 in the US. I really think this is the best album I’ve heard all year. It’s a disco, funk album from a house music group, which takes a lot of talent to put an album out like that. I haven’t heard an album like this in a long time. I don’t know what more I can say about this album. No wonder Daft Punk is considered one of the best when it comes to house music. Give this album a chance if you definitely like disco and funk music with a techno and electronic twist. You won’t be disappointed. I just hope that this isn’t it for Daft Punk considering they have done music for a long time. As long as house music is popular today, Daft Punk will always be relevant and rocking out any party.

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One thought on “Top of the Pops: Random Access Memories

  1. […] Top of the Pops: Random Access Memories (nowherebutpop.com) […]

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