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The new Daft Punk album is currently free to stream in its entirety
May 13, 2013 12:04 PM   Subscribe

The fourth studio album by Daft Punk is now available for streaming. For a limited time, the new Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, will be available to stream for free in the iTunes store. The official release date is expected to be May 21.
posted by 4ster (234 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dang I was thinking about making a Daft Punk post today because of this awesome article about their first US show.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:05 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ha, I remember Furthur, although I wasn't at that show. My own earliest memories of hearing Daft Punk were around February of 1997, in a now-defunct gay bar in Boston called Quest. Their Friday DJ had a bit of a shortage of new music, so he used to play "Around the World" and "Da Funk" and "Revolution 909" almost back-to-back. That stuff sounded so frickin' amazing when it was brand-new.
posted by mykescipark at 12:16 PM on May 13, 2013


Blerg my office computer can't run iTunes.
...as long as the album is streaming tonight. All of tonight. On loop.

Also I am absolutely going to record the streaming because we are still 8 days away from being able to buy it and that's just not acceptable.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:18 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I swear, iTunes is making me feel like more and more of a chump for having the audacity to actually pre-order the album.
posted by smackfu at 12:19 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


::Squuuuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!::
posted by Faintdreams at 12:19 PM on May 13, 2013


Where is the actual stream? I see a preorder screen but that's it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:21 PM on May 13, 2013


Going to be the longest wait to get home
posted by hellojed at 12:21 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where is the actual stream? I see a preorder screen but that's it.

These instructions may be helpful.
posted by jedicus at 12:21 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


You have to go the the Daft Punk homepage on iTunes, and there's an option to listen to the whole album (you can't go track by track)
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:21 PM on May 13, 2013


Daft Punk are playing at my house. Right now. No, really.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:23 PM on May 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


Hmm...took about 5 seconds to hit "rebuffering stream" that took about 20 seconds to go away. Apple may have underestimated how popular this would be.
posted by jedicus at 12:23 PM on May 13, 2013


Damn, the guitar riffs just *sparkle*
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:23 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


sooooooo shiny ::blissful sigh::
posted by Faintdreams at 12:25 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I swear, iTunes is making me feel like more and more of a chump for having the audacity to actually pre-order the album.

We are old.
posted by Artw at 12:25 PM on May 13, 2013


I don't want iTunes on my computer, fucking ever.

I want Daft Punk in my ears, forever.

My head hurts.
posted by Taft at 12:25 PM on May 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Grooveshark playlist

Yeah not getting any work done today
posted by hellojed at 12:26 PM on May 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


thanks hellojed<33
posted by Taft at 12:27 PM on May 13, 2013


Ugh, iTunes is evil and streaming via iTunes is dumb and exclusionary. Please, Daft Punk, for the love of god make this work in a way that isn't idiotic.
posted by koeselitz at 12:29 PM on May 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


*deletes comment upon previewing hellojed*

well then. I guess the link I've been streaming this afternoon's correct, then - hellojed beat me to the punch!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:29 PM on May 13, 2013


Who is this person talking??? Daft Punk doesn't talk.
posted by smackfu at 12:31 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Album really starts picking up at track 5.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:34 PM on May 13, 2013


It's Giorgio Moroder, who is from the German part of Italy, apparently.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:35 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ugh, iTunes is evil and streaming via iTunes is dumb and exclusionary

Same with Grooveshark & Flash. This isn't 2006 people! (grinding noises)
posted by aramaic at 12:35 PM on May 13, 2013


It seems a little unfortunate that an album called Random Access Memories can only be accessed serially.
posted by Talkie Toaster at 12:35 PM on May 13, 2013 [23 favorites]


Gah, I have grooveshark open in IE and every time the ads change it makes that infernal "click" noise
posted by hellojed at 12:37 PM on May 13, 2013


can only be accessed serially.

You can actually drag the position slider in iTunes, although there are no track markers.
posted by smackfu at 12:38 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know how you're afraid the new album from a band you like might suck? This is not one of those times.
posted by Runes at 12:38 PM on May 13, 2013


Disable the clicking sound in IE
posted by dobi at 12:38 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, in which case I retract my snark.
posted by Talkie Toaster at 12:39 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who is this person talking??? Daft Punk doesn't talk.

I think you missed their last album, if not more songs. Human After All (Grooveshark), had plenty of robo-vocals.


Same with Grooveshark & Flash. This isn't 2006 people! (grinding noises)

Don't worry, stream rips are probably floating around right now. Or you can get Chrome, which has Flash built in, and there aren't any weird clicks between tracks.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:41 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Already preordered, like a chump. Feeling less chumpy though because stream is not available in Canada!!!!! So.....really, feeling like a bigger chump I suppose.
posted by Go Banana at 12:41 PM on May 13, 2013


I think you missed their last album, if not more songs.

Oh, this isn't that. I think this is some kind of special edition for pre-release streaming, with some voiceovers explaining the history of the album in a couple of places.
posted by smackfu at 12:43 PM on May 13, 2013


I think that's part of the album.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:44 PM on May 13, 2013


You know how you're afraid the new album from a band you like might suck? This is not one of those times.

I wouldn't describe it as "suck" but I am just not enthused. At all. I gave it a try.

What I'm going to do now is put on Alive 2007 and pretend this album was released by somebody else.
posted by Foosnark at 12:45 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


smackfu: “I think this is some kind of special edition for pre-release streaming, with some voiceovers explaining the history of the album in a couple of places.”

ultraviolet catastrophe: “I think that's part of the album.”

Really? Weird. I'm into the second song so far, and I'm not hearing any voiceovers or anything. Is it after that or something?
posted by koeselitz at 12:45 PM on May 13, 2013


God, this media campaign has been managed impeccably. Daft Punk have carved out a perfectly formed space in my head where these sounds belong. I will now spend the summer cramming this album in there. Over and over again.
posted by R. Schlock at 12:46 PM on May 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Really? Weird. I'm into the second song so far, and I'm not hearing any voiceovers or anything. Is it after that or something?

At the 10:00 mark on the iTunes stream.
posted by smackfu at 12:48 PM on May 13, 2013


I wouldn't describe it as "suck" but I am just not enthused. At all. I gave it a try.

It's definitely a deeply weird album for Daft Punk to put out, but also possibly completely awesome. I think it will take a few more spins to figure out if that's the case or not. At least it's not boring.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:49 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


And some tracks are just killer.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:50 PM on May 13, 2013


At the 10:00 mark on the iTunes stream.

The synth sound just after the Giorgio Morodor voiceover cuts out scratches an itch right underneath my cerebellum.
posted by R. Schlock at 12:50 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was clearly not listening very closely, I guess the voiceover is part of the "Giorgio by Moroder" track.
posted by smackfu at 12:51 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


smackfu: “At the 10:00 mark on the iTunes stream.”

Ah, I hear that now. That's Giorgio Moroder talking, if I'm not mistaken. Hm.
posted by koeselitz at 12:51 PM on May 13, 2013


I'm confused. It says "punk" right there in their name, but there's no guitar?
posted by entropicamericana at 12:51 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh there's guitar
posted by Taft at 12:52 PM on May 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


There's guitar, it's just that the strings are being used as a MIDI controller.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:54 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


smackfu: “Who is this person talking??? Daft Punk doesn't talk.”

I'm just randomly accessing memories here, but now that I think of it "Teachers" was all talking.
posted by koeselitz at 12:55 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


That post-Giorgio Moroder interview synth sound is pretty incredible. It's straight from the opening sequence of a lost Dario Argento movie.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:55 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also available on the pirate bay, if you don't have iTunes.
posted by delmoi at 12:56 PM on May 13, 2013


There's something about the earnest recall and fantastic execution of conventionally dorky (for lack of a better word) periods of music that's really calling to mind Destroyer's Kaputt, another album that I really dig.
posted by Schismatic at 12:57 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've really been digging this Peter Serafinowicz video snippet for one of the tracks.

Left-most head (our left, his right) has the best expression.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:03 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


For all the buzz that electronic artists created about "Nu Disco" over the past few years, Daft Punk seem to have one-upped them here by releasing an honest-to-god disco album that doesn't suck.

I'm halfway through, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it; I've been blasting Discovery all week, and that album deserves every ounce of its reputation; RAM is definitely a different kind album. Get Lucky made me halfway-apprehensive, because, despite the awesome guitar riff, Pharrell Williams' vocal track was jarringly terrible.

Update: Now that I've heard it, Get Lucky works much better in the context of the album than it does as a single. Not sure if the mix is different, but I like it a lot better here...

If anything, RAM feels like a bit of a regression for Daft Punk. While Daft Punk's early signature was the combination of catchy disco riffs with modern electronica, RAM feels like all of the former, and none of the latter. I suppose it shouldn't be surprising for an artist to directly pay tribute to their influencers after 20+ years of making music, but it's certainly jarring to hear an completely-unapologetic disco album in 2013 (perhaps as jarring as it was to hear anybody even attempting to sample disco in 1993, which prompted the negative review that labeled the duo "a bunch of daft punks," and gave the band its current name)

Fortunately, Daft Punk still have a great ear for catchy disco riffs.
posted by schmod at 1:06 PM on May 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


The Giorgio Moroder track was great and then the guitar kicked in and it was sublime.

Instant Crush is going to be my summer song. It took all of about five seconds to realize that.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:08 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


2/3 of the way through, and it's starting to sound a bit like a soundtrack or rock opera...

Also, they seem to be trying to cover every genre imaginable. Something about it's vaguely reminiscent of Nicholas Jaar's Essential Mix...
posted by schmod at 1:08 PM on May 13, 2013


So I was listening on one of the Grooveshark playlists and it took me more than halfway through to release it was sorted in reverse order... different experience starting over from track 1.
posted by skynxnex at 1:10 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Between this album streaming and critics' reports that the new season of Arrested Development is as consistently good as the past three seasons were, this is apparently the month of being back in high school again.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:12 PM on May 13, 2013


schmod, the "daft punk" title was given to their early-days rock band, Darlin', which did not sample disco, and was, descriptively, daft punk.
posted by Taft at 1:13 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now that I've heard it, Get Lucky works much better in the context of the album than it does as a single. Not sure if the mix is different, but I like it a lot better here

It's a couple of minutes longer, for one thing.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 1:14 PM on May 13, 2013


Going to have to listen to the rest of the album but "Get Lucky" is basically Pharrell Williams singing badly over a warmed-over Chic track that sounds like it could be a cleaned-up and sparklified version of a demo that Nile Rodgers pulled from the Real People/Tongue in Chic period. On the other hand, anything that puts Nile Rodgers back in the top twenty is a good thing.
posted by blucevalo at 1:18 PM on May 13, 2013


I'm familiar enough with Daft Punk, I've mildly enjoyed their past stuff (if just as background music, although I have an especially pleasant memory of being given a hit of rather strong ecstasy by a pretty girl and then, um, "listening" to Homework for the first time back in '97 or '98), and hell, I paid to see Electroma in the theater and I thoroughly enjoyed it. That said, I'm not what I've ever considered to be a huge fan and so perhaps I'm not the right audience for this, but it all just seems so... middle of the road. I plan on giving it repeat listens and maybe things'll turn around as I hear these songs on an endless loop in every coffee shop, record store, and vegan cafe in town. I don't know, though.

At this point, as I'm most of the way through the album, it's hitting me like a bad laxative - it just doesn't move me, y'know?
posted by item at 1:20 PM on May 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Folks, the stream is a favour to you, and Apple probably paid good money for the rights to stream it. You aren't entitled to this. If you don't like the terms, buy the album on release like the rest of us suckers, or pirate it, but Christ, get off your high horses.
posted by blue t-shirt at 1:22 PM on May 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


i'm pretty sure they created that deafeningly transcendent handclap on "Lose Yourself To Dance" by chaining together a thousand Cray Titans in order to model the geography of every single human hand that has ever existed since the dawn of time and then sampling the sound of all of them clapping with each other at the same moment
posted by koeselitz at 1:23 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK after giving it a full listen I'm just going to go with completely awesome, no qualifications. Time to listen to it again.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 1:23 PM on May 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm on my 3rd listen and I am pretty well blown away and I came in with very tempered expectations.
It's fantastic and more importantly its a real album.
It's a whole and complete ride that perfectly fits together without a bum track in the sequence. I can't believe that after all the build up and hype that they delivered something worthy of ELO or Chic themselves. And honestly I think this may be their best album.
My smile couldn't be wider today. I was actually MOVED in a way I haven't felt from music in YEARS.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:28 PM on May 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


One thing I am noticing, even listening on my pretty mediocre PC speakers, is that this is one of those albums that benefits from being played REALLY LOUDLY.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:30 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whoa. The last track is extra special. Where the hell was this when they did the soundtrack for Tron?

And, yes. I had middling expectations, and am blown away. Senor cardgage is spot on: this is a "complete" album.
posted by schmod at 1:31 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


To be honest, I kind of hate it, but I've always loathed that 70s light-rock sound, even when it was new when I was a kid, and this isn't even a particularly refreshing take on it. I was looking forward to it, but I got bored a third of the way through and kind of skimmed through the rest. Get Lucky is a great track. Giorgio by Moroder has some good parts, but the rest of it? Meh.
posted by empath at 1:36 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why would people complain about them streaming it for free for a day on iTunes? It's a taste of the album provided by the retailer that will let you decide if you want to buy it. It would be like your local gourmet cheese store having a free sample day and bitching because you don't get the full wheel and you have to actually go to the store to boot.
posted by sourwookie at 1:39 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


i did not expect to love this album and i think it is aces.
posted by oog at 1:40 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm fine with them streaming it for a day, I just wish it weren't on iTunes. If music is cheese, then iTunes is a cheese shop with spikes on the welcome mat and where every purchase comes with a complimentary seven tons of Kraft singles that you have to carry out by hand.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:46 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another data point: My two year old is bugging out like it's Christmas morning.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:49 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I fucking love the Tron soundtrack, me.

(anything to do with, you know, plot and character and stuff, not so much.)
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on May 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


sourwookie: “Why would people complain about them streaming it for free for a day on iTunes? It's a taste of the album provided by the retailer that will let you decide if you want to buy it. It would be like your local gourmet cheese store having a free sample day and bitching because you don't get the full wheel and you have to actually go to the store to boot.”

I like Holy Zarquon's Flying Fish's response, but to be a little more direct – a few of us complained about iTunes not because we hate iTunes or think it's silly or anything like that – hell, I'm not a Grooveshark fan either – but because there is a not-insignificant part of the population for whom installing iTunes is totally impossible, at least at this moment, and it's kind of annoying to be excluded like that. Personally the computer I use 99% of the time is a work laptop on which I can't install iTunes; that's just a fact of life for me, and I know I'm not the only one. So for a lot of people it isn't a feasible way of trying out the album, because they cannot listen to it at all.

That said, meh. As long as it's available elsewhere, I'm fine – not a huge deal.
posted by koeselitz at 1:57 PM on May 13, 2013


guess we need a SLIT advertising link. w00t.
posted by blackfly at 1:57 PM on May 13, 2013


Another data point: My two year old is bugging out like it's Christmas morning.

I can see the ad campaign now:

Daft Punk's Random Access Memories: Two-year-olds Love It!

posted by item at 1:59 PM on May 13, 2013


schmod: “Whoa. The last track is extra special.”

Goddamn, you weren't kidding.
posted by koeselitz at 2:02 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


schmod: “Whoa. The last track is extra special.”

Goddamn, you weren't kidding.


Well shit. Grooveshark queued the album up in reverse order and I thought that was the opener.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:09 PM on May 13, 2013


This is the first album that I have listened to with the internet, and it is awesome.
posted by SounderCoo at 2:10 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Same with Grooveshark & Flash. This isn't 2006 people! (grinding noises)

Yo, i think most people don't know this but html5 grooveshark

It will play on pretty much any semi-modern device with a web browser. I think i even got it working on a wii at one point.

It definitely works on linux, and pretty much ANY smartphone that's come out since 2007.
posted by emptythought at 2:11 PM on May 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Er. Can anyone recommend a free thing that will get grooveshark on a PC laptop to pump this out of my airtunes stereo so I can play this really loud?

(yes yes it was a stupid purchase)
posted by ominous_paws at 2:12 PM on May 13, 2013


in the interest of not having turned completely into my parents, I should correct that to "windows pc", I guess.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:14 PM on May 13, 2013


Offtopic, but The National's new album is also up for streaming on iTunes today.
posted by schmod at 2:20 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is disco. Pure, 1979 disco.

And we all thought you were dead.
posted by four panels at 2:23 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


BTW how rad is it that the second half of "Touch" keeps threatening to become "Get Lucky" without ever commiting itself fully to it?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:24 PM on May 13, 2013


I fucking love the Tron soundtrack, me.

(anything to do with, you know, plot and character and stuff, not so much.)


Yes. The visuals, the music, fantastic stuff. The plot kind of edged in on cyberpunk tropes without actually hitting them and overall it was a mess. Not as much of a mess as the 80s movie, but still.
posted by Foosnark at 2:26 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's something about the earnest recall and fantastic execution of conventionally dorky (for lack of a better word) periods of music that's really calling to mind Destroyer's Kaputt, another album that I really dig.

I keep thinking :

am I listening to music for yachts
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:32 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


am I listening to music for yachts?

You may be.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:35 PM on May 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm with empath and item. Aside from Get Lucky, which is really catchy, and maybe Motherboard, this is just leaving me cold.
posted by zsazsa at 2:35 PM on May 13, 2013


I've been preparing to hate this, given the amount of hype and that the album is obviously the work of teams of producers and writers merely released under the corporate title "Daft Punk" for marketing purposes to take advantage of a pre-existing pool of guaranteed customers. But I quite like it. There are some great moments. Not as many great moments as on all the other Earth, Wind & Fire albums, obviously. But some great moments.
posted by The World Famous at 2:46 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Disco, yes. But really, really, really well-done, 21st Century disco.

And I am thirding (or nthing) the Tron Soundtrack. It has been said that the movie is one very long Daft Punk music video. Which is a good thing.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:51 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think this album will be the happy point between my love of vocal-free electronic music, and my wife's love of music she can sing along to. I'm interested to see how my toddler likes this, too. He was pretty happy when he was exposed to a bit of Electroma.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:51 PM on May 13, 2013


"Doin' It Right" is my favourite, by far. The rest, tolerable but not awesome.

Also, is "Todd Edwards" an alias of Todd Rundgren, or did they call the wrong Todd, or what? 'Cause that song he's on is vintage Todd Rundgren.

And now, for no particular reason, here's some Neil Young.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:53 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


obviously the work of teams of producers and writers merely released under the corporate title "Daft Punk"

Usually its not bad form to back up a claim like that when one makes it.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:55 PM on May 13, 2013


koeselitz: Yes, I see your point there. I don't know much about the legalities of the thing, but I suspect if this were bankrolled by Daft Punk (or they had more freedom within their label) they would have just thrown this link up on a webpage. But I suspect that Apple compensated them for the rights for this day and they want people to stare at that shiny "Preorder" button while they listen. In that sense I see Apple's motive but totally get everyone's frustration.
posted by sourwookie at 2:57 PM on May 13, 2013


Is it to much to hope that the Paul Williams featured on track 7 is this guy?
posted by sourwookie at 3:02 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes sourwookie. Its Swan.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:03 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow! I wasn't expecting that. I just assumed it was just someone else (R&B vocalist, DJ, etc) with a shared very common name. Don'tthatjustbeatall.
posted by sourwookie at 3:07 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not really feeling this. Too sterile.

I feel like Sebastien Tellier has done the whole disco throwback thing a lot better and a lot dirtier.
posted by corey le fou at 3:18 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Usually its not bad form to back up a claim like that when one makes it.

The claim that it's obvious to me, or the claim made by Daft Punk itself that the album was written and produced by committee? I pinky promise that I'm telling the truth when I say it's obvious to me. How's that?
posted by The World Famous at 3:28 PM on May 13, 2013


Maybe it's just that i love disco, funk, and 80s pop music but i'm seriously incapable of seeing how anyone could not be getting down at a 45 degree angle to this. I'm chair dancing like a tool at work playing this shit.

I am definitely enthused, and i'm only 3 tracks in. I've loved every track so far.
posted by emptythought at 3:41 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


or the claim made by Daft Punk itself that the album was written and produced by committee?

Which they did where?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:42 PM on May 13, 2013


Oh, came across this get lucky cover the other day, and thought it was relatively awesome.
posted by delmoi at 3:43 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


In a series of youtube videos discussing the making of the album.
posted by The World Famous at 3:43 PM on May 13, 2013


Collaboration is not the same thing as making an album by committee.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:44 PM on May 13, 2013


Seriously though, i just want to take the people who are like "eh, i don't really get it" and strap them in to a chair clockwork orange style, and play them clips of like... this kind of stuff projected on a big screen while i loop different sections of this album and go IS THIS NOT FUNKY?!?!?

I'm sure they would just be like "NO, NO, ANYTHING BUT THE FUNKKK NOOOOOO WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE THA FUNK" though
posted by emptythought at 3:47 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's funky the same way the band at your cousin's wedding was funky.
posted by corey le fou at 3:49 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The Game of Love" is basically a Roger Troutman song.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:50 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Todd Edwards is amazing.
posted by mintcake! at 3:54 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Collaboration is not the same thing as making an album by committee.

Collaboration means a lot of different things. Sometimes it's the same as making an album by committee. Sometimes it's one artist and his/her team doing all the work and then putting a more famous artist's name on it with them to increase market impact. Sometimes it's something else altogether. I'm just saying what my own impression of the album is. It was my impression of the Tron album, as well. I love the Tron album and, having now listened to RAM all the way through almost twice, I love it so far, too. There are some very rare albums in this day and age that are truly made by one or two people who do all the writing and production themselves. I know a few people like that, and I'm one of them, so I won't deny that such artists exist. But I'm pretty cynical about the notion that Daft Punk is one of them, as much as I like Daft Punk.
posted by The World Famous at 3:56 PM on May 13, 2013


I know what they'll be playing at roller rinks across the nation this summer.
posted by Mick at 4:00 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Todd Edwards is amazing.

Fortuitously, he's doing this week's BBC Essential mix.

He also headlined one of the best nights out that I had in 2012 here in Chicago at Smartbar.
posted by sparkletone at 4:01 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The plot kind of edged in on cyberpunk tropes without actually hitting them and overall it was a mess. Not as much of a mess as the 80s movie, but still.

Birthday sleepover parties where 80s Tron was rented and enjoyed by all: 3
Birthday sleepover parties where Tron Legacy was rented and enjoyed by all: 0

80s Tron wins in the most important category.
posted by Hoopo at 4:03 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know what they'll be playing at roller rinks across the nation this summer.

I know you're joking, but god: If only. For one thing, roller rinks are a dying breed. For another thing, rink playlists these days are strictly top 40 unless you're lucky enough to have a rink that does an adult skate session, where they play mostly '80s pop with the very occasional disco tune.

Sorry, I just really miss getting to go to a rink regularly.

I will, however, put this album and skate my heart out to it in the park anyway, so there's that.
posted by Sokka shot first at 4:06 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can feel the gristle of 70's porn mustache on my cheeks. It tickles to the tempo of hot tub bubbles.
posted by Taft at 4:07 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Interestingly, there is a new cover of Get Lucky on KEXP right now. It's like a negative of the original, it's slower and almost sad. It's by Daughter, who I am unfamiliar with.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:08 PM on May 13, 2013


Holy fuck -- that's really Paul Williams? It totally sounded like him, but I couldn't believe it, and didn't look up the credits. OK, I'm sold. No one is cooler than Paul Willams.
posted by neroli at 4:12 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man, listening to the opening track and suddenly reaching back to pull up the faders and realizing with a melancholy sadness that I'm not on the air anymore.

Just don't tell that to my Sennheiser cans though - they still believe I'm on the mic.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:34 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is a lot better than I expected from "Get Lucky", tbh.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:40 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Paul Williams promo interview is pretty lovely.
posted by neroli at 4:49 PM on May 13, 2013


(Man, the drums just get better and better with every listen.)
posted by The World Famous at 5:06 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thank god, now I can actually get some work done.
posted by odinsdream at 5:21 PM on May 13, 2013


The opening of the first track sounded so much like the intro to "Run Like The Wind" I half expected Michael McDonald to show up on background vocals.
posted by sourwookie at 5:45 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The grooveshark link provided above shows zero tracks.

Or is that just me?
posted by hippybear at 5:59 PM on May 13, 2013


The grooveshark link provided above shows zero tracks.

Or is that just me?


I think it got pulled, alas.
posted by JauntyFedora at 6:13 PM on May 13, 2013


No one is cooler than Paul Williams.

QFMFT.

I watched Paul Williams Still Alive about a week ago. It's one of the strangest documentaries I've ever seen. Really combative in tone, and then charming, and then suddenly I found myself in a deep emotional space full of wonder and self-realization and spent about 10 minutes crying tears of joy and amazement.

That movie made me love PW more than I ever thought I could. I was a fan before, but now it's all moved up several notches.
posted by hippybear at 6:15 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Disco Sukks.
posted by azarbayejani at 6:19 PM on May 13, 2013


Offtopic, but The National's new album is also up for streaming on iTunes today.

And here, if you need an antidote to robots.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:41 PM on May 13, 2013


Listening to the stream now. I'm really glad I preordered.
posted by immlass at 6:41 PM on May 13, 2013


This album is too cheesy.
posted by azarbayejani at 6:47 PM on May 13, 2013


I'm fascinated how people come to like or dislike music. It often takes me a few listens, and sometimes, quite a few listens to either like or dislike an album. I've never had the ability to instantly meh an album from a band whose previous songs I've liked. Nothing wrong with that of course, just fascinated by the different ability to judge music for oneself.

As for streaming, tons of bands stream full albums on the net that you don't have to install software for. I prefer that rather than having to install software so I suspect some people's objection to iTunes is the fact that you have to install said awful software.
posted by juiceCake at 6:57 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is a really weird album, at least on first listen. I like it, it seems very French to me, and some weird mix of nostalgic and ironic and future. We've already got Justice to make more hard driving danceable Daft Punk, I like that these guys have gotten old and funky.
posted by Nelson at 7:16 PM on May 13, 2013


Daft Punk with Michael McDonald. I'd buy that.
posted by mubba at 7:16 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Since the Grooveshark set is dead, if you can't (or won't) listen via iTunes, here's a way to scratch the same itch.
posted by The World Famous at 7:30 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


album is obviously the work of teams of producers and writers merely released under the corporate title "Daft Punk"

This couldn't be more wrong. The two men behind Daft Punk are incredibly passionate about music in general, and especially about their own music. They've had umpteen chances to sell out in the most lucrative ways imaginable, but music is really the main thing driving them. A close friend of mine manages one of the collaborators on the album, and I had the chance to observe a little slice of the lengthy process behind creating this record. While the tracks are incredibly clean and polished (sterile to some ears, I see) there is a lot of passion behind every single track.
posted by cell divide at 8:10 PM on May 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Ouch, TWF. Ouch.
posted by koeselitz at 8:12 PM on May 13, 2013


I do not question or dispute that there is passion behind every single track.
posted by The World Famous at 8:14 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Saying that they didn't write and produce every song themselves, which they haven't claimed to do, and in fact actually celebrated their collaborators in a very public way, is a very different then than claiming the album is obviously the work of teams of producers.
posted by cell divide at 8:18 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


But, as I said above, I'm pretty cynical about the notion that Daft Punk at this stage in its career is one of the few artists that actually has just one or two people - the same people on the front of the album cover - doing all the writing and production themselves. Unfortunately, cell divide, your chance to observe a little slice of the process doesn't change my cynicism much. I'd be very happy if I learned that I was wrong to be so cynical. I do know a few artists who really do it all themselves, so I'm not saying nobody does it. And I would love it if Daft Punk turned out to be among those artists. I just don't think it's possible to ever really know the truth in that regard unless one is actually in the innermost inner circle.
posted by The World Famous at 8:18 PM on May 13, 2013


Daft Punk open up about "poetic" Wee Waa launch.
posted by Duke999R at 8:26 PM on May 13, 2013


Your real world experiences are no match for this thing I imagined just now.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:34 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


There are stream rips of the iTunes stream, as it seems they're providing a fairly high-quality audio stream.

Also, is "Todd Edwards" an alias of Todd Rundgren, or did they call the wrong Todd, or what?

If it wasn't clear from the prior comments, Todd Edwards is completely a different person.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:38 PM on May 13, 2013


I'm pretty cynical about the notion that Daft Punk at this stage in its career is one of the few artists that actually has just one or two people - the same people on the front of the album cover - doing all the writing and production themselves.

Well, they did bring in a wide range of people who collaborated on this album, and they weren't writing what those people did on the tracks. Those collaborators contributed genuinely to the project, in the spirit of the project, with their own styles.
posted by hippybear at 8:38 PM on May 13, 2013


But, as I said above, I'm pretty cynical about the notion that Daft Punk at this stage in its career is one of the few artists that actually has just one or two people - the same people on the front of the album cover - doing all the writing and production themselves.

I actually believe it in this case, because this is clearly an artistic statement on their part and not paint-by-numbers dance music where they can just bring anybody in to produce filler tracks. I didn't particularly like the album, but I'm pretty sure this is all them.
posted by empath at 8:52 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it really is a cohesive album from start to finish. The collaborators' contributions add unique elements to the tracks, but don't detract from the overall feel and vision of it. I was all set to hate it, but it's quite brilliant. It's one of those albums where, every few minutes, I say to myself "man, I wish I had made that."
posted by The World Famous at 8:58 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've listened twice and I think "Giorgio by Moroder" is my favorite track. It really goes somewhere, you know? Collaboration or not this is distinctly a Daft Punk record. It doesn't sound like anyone else except the parts where it does, deliberately, before being repurposed.

I feel weird linking this here but the Reddit discussion helped me understand what I'm hearing.
posted by Nelson at 9:08 PM on May 13, 2013


Getting serious frisson from Contact...
posted by bruzie at 9:21 PM on May 13, 2013


new Wonder Years album is also up
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:19 PM on May 13, 2013


C'mon C'mon C'mon C'mon C'mon C'mon C'mon C'mon Lose Yourself To Dance
posted by hippybear at 10:26 PM on May 13, 2013


Between Daft Punk, M83, and Phoenix, France just completed its conquest of my car's CD changer...
posted by schmod at 10:34 PM on May 13, 2013


Yeah, the whole album is pretty nice, but "Contact" is just wonderful. It's like an 1812 Overture for the 21st century.
posted by teraflop at 10:35 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Except it isn't commemorating war. It's celebrating the possibility of communication.
posted by hippybear at 11:01 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


That ending to Contact feels like the ending of 2001.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:02 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've been preparing to hate this, given the amount of hype and that the album is obviously the work of teams of producers and writers merely released under the corporate title "Daft Punk" for marketing purposes to take advantage of a pre-existing pool of guaranteed customers.

Not sure why that's so obvious? It's not like this is a huge departure in style or quality from "Discovery". Unless you think Bangalter and de Homem-Christo's whole career has really been secret teams of people working away under the Daft Punk corporate title?
posted by Greener Backyards at 12:45 AM on May 14, 2013


Contact is so epic and this the track where you can feel the _old_ Daft Punk.
I mean, if they wanted they could have made a similar EDM album like the previous ones.
It's like a mission statement, not just about the past but about the future too.
So they aren't dead, they not killed Daft Punk. For me it is a beautiful revival.
posted by bdz at 3:41 AM on May 14, 2013


Who's the drummer?

Such a beautiful production. A proper album.
posted by panaceanot at 4:32 AM on May 14, 2013


"I'm looking at what Jack was talking about and it's definitely not a particle that's nearby. It is a bright object and it's obviously rotating because it's flashing, it's way out in the distance, certainly rotating in a very rhythmic fashion because the flashes come around almost on time. As we look back at the earth it's up at about 11 o'clock, about maybe ten or twelve diameters. I don't know whether that does you any good, but there's something out there."
posted by bdz at 5:02 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was horrible. Its such schlock rubbish. over-produced, sterile, clinical facsimile of disco. Facile lyrics and innocuous songs.

total let down.
posted by mary8nne at 5:44 AM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Was listening to this on the headphones last night and then put the lights off and laid on the couch just after midnight to finish the last half of the album.... wow... This is definitely made for headphones. There was a couple tracks where they where some of the instruments were moving around in my head. I started seeing things in my head, and I can't remember the last time music ever did that to me. Motherboard and Contact made me feel like I was tripping, and I was sorry when they were over.

They really upped their game on this one. Homework and their earlier albums were groundbreaking, but they were no where close to the production behind these more far-out track. The amount of time and detail that they must have put into the generation of each and every sound on this album is amazing.

A completely mindblowing album and best listened to with good quality headphones in the dark.
posted by daHIFI at 5:47 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting juxtaposition of responses ^

I'm a space cadet and dreamer, and I love this album. I'm also cynical and grumpy as heck, yet I still loved it after the hype train and can ignore the whiff of cheese (it's French FSS... cheese is awesome).

This whole 'subjective' thing is fascinating.

They're going to remix Daft Punk as well.
posted by panaceanot at 5:55 AM on May 14, 2013


I don't know about y'all, but when that synth/organ vamp kicked in after the end of the opening vocal sample in "Contact" I got for-reals shivers, and then the drums come on and it's like yesssssssss
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:46 AM on May 14, 2013


If you read through the article that Potomac Avenue mentioned upthread, there's a mention of a mixtape. Here's the (incomplete) tracklist, and you can download it here. Party like it's the summer of '96, in Wisconsin.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:40 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


over-produced, sterile, clinical facsimile of disco. Facile lyrics and innocuous songs.

Ignoring that their signature song is the words "Around the world" repeated ad nauseam over a bass line 100% indebted to Chic.... Someone needs to go give Discovery another listen.
posted by sparkletone at 8:07 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pitchfork's got a cover story today on Daft Punk, and it's easily one of the prettiest things that I've read on the web...
posted by schmod at 8:12 AM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I actually like streaming it because you're forced to listen to the whole thing without skipping around. It's an odyssey, man.
posted by dobie at 8:25 AM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


omg that pitchfork page
posted by bdz at 9:05 AM on May 14, 2013


I'm unable to listen to "Lose yourself to Dance" without imagining Daft Punk doing the Carlton dance from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
posted by hellojed at 11:05 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Been kinda down lately. Thinking about brewing a mild batch of mushroom tea and taking this album on a bike ride
posted by elr at 11:35 AM on May 14, 2013


It is kind of hilarious how many of these could fit on
C
V
S
BANGERS
airhorn
posted by en forme de poire at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am dying because this release coincided with an insanely busy time for me, and it's been more than 24 hours and I haven't gotten to hear more than the first 10 minutes. Can't wait to sit down a little later, crank up my speakers, and absorb the whole 74 minutes.

I said after hearing "Get Lucky" and I'll say it again having heard that plus the opening: I keep mentally flashing to Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall", and that can never be a bad thing...
posted by rollbiz at 1:12 PM on May 14, 2013


I love about half of the album. The other half is maybe underwhelming, or just too much sad robot. Also, the build up for Lose Yourself to Dance is good enough, but then the chorus is just bonkers, in a bad way. Like they forgot what scales are. I have no idea what they were thinking.

My love for Touch is growing with each listen.
posted by Taft at 5:09 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just finished the album about 10 minutes ago.

Wow.
posted by rollbiz at 5:16 PM on May 14, 2013


Also, the build up for Lose Yourself to Dance is good enough, but then the chorus is just bonkers, in a bad way.

Interesting, I couldn't disagree more. I think it's really complex but works beautifully. Are you talking about Pharell or the vocodors, or both...?
posted by rollbiz at 5:18 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to RapGenius that quote on the track Contact about that rotating bright object is from Apollo 17, an investigation into mysterious flashes that astronauts were seeing. They concluded it was cosmic rays.
posted by Nelson at 5:46 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's really complex but works beautifully. Are you talking about Pharell or the vocodors, or both...?

The c'mons are fine, it's the "everybody's da-da-da-da on the floor" melody that bothers the hell out of me. Whatever key it's in feels way off from whatever key Pharrell and Nile are in. These are the dudes that composed Verdis Quo and Something about Us, and I'm not saying they HAVE to make a sophisticated composition, but LYTD doesn't even have a melodically pleasing one.

What I'm willing to concede is that Daft Punk has repeatedly been ahead a few years on pop music convention, causing disorientation to some release-day-listeners. I don't think this is one of those times.
posted by Taft at 8:09 PM on May 14, 2013


Second time through on the iTunes stream I may be slightly less in love with it, because the first listen was on Grooveshark with the tracks ordered backwards and Contact seems to completely deaden my ability to be anything less than ecstatic.

That ending to Contact feels like the ending of 2001.

This. I'd also compare it to a sequence in Mind Game, which I remember as 20 minutes of frantic fever-dream imagery over a blistering drum solo. Turns out it's under seven minutes, but Contact pushes very similar buttons for me. I'd say it's the standout track on a very well constructed album.
posted by figurant at 9:53 PM on May 14, 2013


Brian Wilson sounded great on Doin' it Right<3
posted by Taft at 10:40 PM on May 14, 2013



Brian Wilson sounded great on Doin' it Right


Is this a joke or did Daft Punk actually sample Brian Wilson?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:25 PM on May 14, 2013


No, it's Panda Bear. Sorry about that.
posted by Taft at 11:36 PM on May 14, 2013


Ignoring that their signature song is the words "Around the world" repeated ad nauseam over a bass line 100% indebted to Chic

And it's PERFECT.
posted by empath at 12:04 AM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


When the hell was it ever a "novelty song"? It's house music. House music was never supposed to be lyrics-focused, and that song is about the same as any other on that level. It's intended to be chill and danceable and enjoyable and sonically fun. There's no indication that Bangalter and De Homem-Christo have ever been anything but totally serious about what they do, regardless of how anyone feels about it. It's about as far from Dr Demento as you can get.

In a more technical sense - because it's a song that's clearly carefully composed and thoughtfully arranged. The vocal is just an instrument; it's carefully processed and developed, the beats were plainly toned and tuned by the two guys themselves laboriously, and structurally it's very interestingly laid out, with several subtle build-and-plateau-and-fade sections running through each other. Overall it's just a good song, good enough to have been played billions of time until pretty much everyone around the world is familiar enough with it that it's easy for them to sneer at it like people might sneer at a fine piece of furniture they happen to have lived with all their lives.

Whereas that awful Eiffel 65 song is basically a lot of terrible shit thrown together. The beats are recycled presets with a hodge-podge of effects that don't really fit, and the lyrics aren't simple - they're dumb, to the point where no one could take it seriously as a piece of music and it only had its day in the sun because it sort of functioned as the kind of slightly amusing track that was inexplicably popular for a few years on dance floors. I don't know if I would call it a novelty tune - I might, it's stupid enough - but it really can't be compared with "Around The World" at all.
posted by koeselitz at 12:46 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]



Whereas that awful Eiffel 65 song is basically a lot of terrible shit thrown together. The beats are recycled presets with a hodge-podge of effects that don't really fit, and the lyrics aren't simple - they're dumb, to the point where no one could take it seriously as a piece of music and it only had its day in the sun because it sort of functioned as the kind of slightly amusing track that was inexplicably popular for a few years on dance floors. I don't know if I would call it a novelty tune - I might, it's stupid enough - but it really can't be compared with "Around The World" at all.


Repetitive beat, repetative lyric (as you pointed out) that has a similar pseudo-melencholic/pseudo-deep vibe about it, and it got people on the dance floors. Seems like a pretty good comparison to me.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:52 AM on May 15, 2013


If you think those songs are similar, I would submit that you don't like dance music much or don't really care. Which is fine as far as it goes. Nobody is required to like any particular type of music. But on that level - why is one popular while the other is forgotten? Because people still like "Around The World," while they don't like "I'm Blue." Pretty simple; sometimes people can be dumb, yeah, but in this case they're right. (And "Around The World" is far from the best track on Homework, which is an incredible record in general that does things nobody'd really done before in a wholly unique and pure way.)

I don't know. I mean - do you really just not like "Around The World"? That's fine, too. I guess there are a few possibilities in this situation; I could sit here and tell you why I think it's wonderful, which I've started to do. Or I could just say "eh" and let you feel however you want to feel about it. You don't sound very open to the former, so I guess the latter is probably the best bet.
posted by koeselitz at 1:02 AM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah seriously, the around the world / blue comparison is obviously facile and reductivist and to be honest a bit jerkish.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:19 AM on May 15, 2013


The Eiffel 65 was dead-standard mid-90s Eurodance (though I kind of like it). Around The World was much more sophisticated.
posted by empath at 1:26 AM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


And it's PERFECT.

Agreed! Was just saying that complaining about the lyrics "having no depth" or whatever is very odd to me, at least when it comes to Daft Punk's music.
posted by sparkletone at 7:32 AM on May 15, 2013


- Ignoring that their signature song is the words "Around the world" repeated ad nauseam over a bass line 100% indebted to Chic

- And it's PERFECT.

- Was just saying that complaining about the lyrics "having no depth" or whatever is very odd to me, at least when it comes to Daft Punk's music.


I have come to realize that there are distinctly different mindsets when it comes to music. I can get lost in long, repetitive Detroit house and techno, songs that go on and on, like Theo Parrish's Parallel Dimensions. I find it to be heady stuff when I'm stone cold sober, while I know people who are baffled at how I can listen to the same beat with minor variations for 10 minutes straight.

Random Access Memory is hybrid album, mostly featuring modern pop-type music standards, with some nods to their more electronic dance music past. For example, 5 of the 13 songs running for less than 5 minutes, 6 songs running between 5 and 7 minutes, and 2 more over 9 minutes long. The lyrics aren't as repetitive and are more story-like, as found in modern pop music, compared to sampled lyrics found in most EDM (though there are artists who feature more lyrical vocal content).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:55 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's the old rockist vs funktionalist divide Simon Reynolds wrote about twenty years ago. Some people want singer/song-writers with a point of view and songs that are about something. Some people would prefer to listen to someone tweak a 303 over a techno beat for 20 minutes.
posted by empath at 8:26 AM on May 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's really funny to compare old P4K from new P4K reviews of electronic music, because the people who started P4K clearly did not understand or care about this rockist/funkist distinction and as a result end up saying a lot of stuff which I am sure they are retrospectively embarrassed by (I mean, they gave "Discovery" a 6.4 in 2001 but refer to it as a "shattering pop breakthrough" in 2007, which, whoops).
posted by en forme de poire at 9:44 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I remember Ryan Schreiber's review of "Discovery" being just the most stupid thing. He says something about how "One More Time" is just the same lyrics over and over and therefore it is dumb and pointless. Which is... yeah. Weird how shortsighted that was.
posted by koeselitz at 9:47 AM on May 15, 2013


I remember that, and he wasn't the only one. I have a feeling that in some circles, the words will be different but the trajectory of feelings about this album are going to be exactly the same.

I dunno, it screams "INSTANT CLASSIC" to me...
posted by rollbiz at 9:50 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's that awful review wherein Ryan Schreiber compares Discovery (unfavorably) to Kid Rock and Whitesnake before lamely conceding in a very short paragraph near the end that "Daft Punk typically succeed in an instrumental environment, though." He shows off by being able to name the samples used in various songs and yet seems completely oblivious to the entire history of electronic dance music from the Belleville Three onward:
Prog and disco have never openly begged for their own hybrid, but the genres' newborn Frankenbaby is alive, whether we like it or not. Still, this beast, however grotesque, is relatively harmless-- rather than running amok in the village and snapping the necks of civilians, it only wants to "celebrate and dance so free, one more time." Just don't let it sing.
That type of sneering, know-nothing bullshit is why even now, almost a decade after Pitchfork softened and started publishing real reviews that aren't usually very terrible, there are plenty of people around who still despise them.
posted by koeselitz at 10:45 AM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


That sounds like a (indie) rock music critic who doesn't get dance music. "Daft Punk seem to be operating under the premise that if you hear something enough times, you'll start to believe it."

Yeah, Ryan, where's the story in the songs? Where are the "highly conceptual paeans to God" that "can be exhausting, barraging listeners with surprise twists and turns and tangled song fragments"? Stupid samples. Stupid dance music! I just want to sit here and ponder the meaning of the songs! Leave my feet be, music of the dancing devil!

Just because you're listening for something that's not there doesn't mean it's missing.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, Ryan Schreiber (that venerable founder of Pitchfork) is also the guy who once declared (in an early review that has since been scrubbed from the site, though you can find it if you scroll down here) that:
... a lot has happened for music since Pet Sounds. For instance, compare Pet Sounds to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless or Radiohead's OK Computer. To these young ears, Brian Wilson's masterpiece just doesn't stand up.

Sure, the genius of songs like "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)," "God Only Knows," and "Caroline No" is undeniable-- to this day, few people have come close to penning sweeter melodies. But this style of straight- forward pop music, despite its appeal on an instinctual level, has become passe and cliched. If this were not the Beach Boys, but some indie pop outfit on Parasol Records, it might make a few critics' Top 10 lists, if it didn't just vanish into obscurity.
As I recall, this was another review that the actual professional reviewers he soon hired were at pains to distance themselves from. Pet Sounds is "passe and cliched" because of My Bloody Valentine and Radiohead? And, uh, Pink Floyd? That is some weird and ignorant shit right there.
posted by koeselitz at 11:08 AM on May 15, 2013


(And as far as Daft Punk is concerned, it's pretty easy to pinpoint the exact moment when Pitchfork decided Daft Punk is a-ok in their book. It was when they first heard this song.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:11 AM on May 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


(And as far as Daft Punk is concerned, it's pretty easy to pinpoint the exact moment when Pitchfork decided Daft Punk is a-ok in their book. It was when they first heard this song.)

DINGDINGDING! We have a winner!
posted by rollbiz at 12:10 PM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be fair, this review came before
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:31 PM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I made a post on an article on the history of Pitchfork, including commentary on some of the early 10.0 ranked releases, which can be found on Archive.org views of the site, including the rather old Pet Sounds review. Though Pitchfork was born online in 1995 (when Schreiber was 19), Archive.org only goes back to the year 2000, and the early reviews don't have date-stamps on them.

Viewing those old reviews through the eyes of a 20-something who founded the site with “an angry mob mentality” toward the music industry, noting that he was reviewing the re-mastered Mono and Stereo re-release of Pet Sounds (which he still gave a 7.5), it all might make a bit more sense.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:03 PM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, lots of great lines in that one. Particularly:

Since Pitchfork’s writers had just graduated from high school, a place where the difference between an 89 and a 91 could not have been more consequential, they were well positioned to distinguish between an 8.3 album and an 8.7.

Hah, oh man. Also:

Brent DiCrescenzo was a bit of a star for a while, but even with him the entertainment value almost always exceeded the insight.

look at this fucking understatement
posted by en forme de poire at 2:18 PM on May 15, 2013


Dear mash-up artists: Make something with Paul and Linda McCartney's Ram (Grooveshark stream) and Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. You know, for a larf.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:50 PM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


So hey, I just learned that Todd Edwards is a devout Christian, which makes his lyrics on "Face to Face" very different
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:55 PM on May 15, 2013


Yeah, Ryan, where's the story in the songs? Where are the "highly conceptual paeans to God" that "can be exhausting, barraging listeners with surprise twists and turns and tangled song fragments"? Stupid samples. Stupid dance music! I just want to sit here and ponder the meaning of the songs! Leave my feet be, music of the dancing devil!

Well, where are they?

Yeah, I remember Ryan Schreiber's review of "Discovery" being just the most stupid thing. He says something about how "One More Time" is just the same lyrics over and over and therefore it is dumb and pointless. Which is... yeah. Weird how shortsighted that was.

Why do people keep acting like this is a stupid point of view without giving anything to refute it? Did the world suddently wake up one day, 5 years ago or 10 years ago, and decide that rather than championing music like the Pixes or Fiery Furnaces it was okay for even serious music critics to like repetative dance music and slick pop like Phoenix?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:34 PM on May 15, 2013


The operative words in your last paragraph are "rather than" and "serious."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:48 PM on May 15, 2013


Why do people keep acting like this is a stupid point of view without giving anything to refute it?

People talked already about the rockist/funkist divide. The criticism Ryan Schreiber made in that review was the equivalent of going to a gamelan concert and complaining that everything was out of tune.

Seriously though, dude, rage against the drum machine all you want, but not every EDM thread has to become yet another instance of you insisting that we somehow prove the worthiness of dance music to your personal satisfaction.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:06 PM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Why do people keep acting like this is a stupid point of view without giving anything to refute it? Did the world suddently wake up one day, 5 years ago or 10 years ago, and decide that rather than championing music like the Pixes or Fiery Furnaces it was okay for even serious music critics to like repetative dance music and slick pop like Phoenix?

I find it hilarious that you seem to dislike repetitiveness so much while saying the same fucking thing over and over again.
posted by empath at 5:36 PM on May 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


So hey, I just learned that Todd Edwards is a devout Christian, which makes his lyrics on "Face to Face" very different

I know and have worked closely with a lot of great lyricists who also happen to be devout Christians, and I would advise very strongly against reading Christian themes into lyrics unless the themes are really, overt or the lyricist has stated that the less overt lyrics have those themes. Some people just happen to be Christian, ya know?
posted by The World Famous at 5:41 PM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


me: "Yeah, I remember Ryan Schreiber's review of 'Discovery' being just the most stupid thing. He says something about how 'One More Time' is just the same lyrics over and over and therefore it is dumb and pointless."

Charlemagne In Sweatpants: "Why do people keep acting like this is a stupid point of view without giving anything to refute it? Did the world suddently wake up one day, 5 years ago or 10 years ago, and decide that rather than championing music like the Pixes or Fiery Furnaces it was okay for even serious music critics to like repetative dance music and slick pop like Phoenix?"

I'm sorry; I thought this was blindingly obvious so I didn't articulate it, but I will say it if you wish.

Beethoven's Third Symphony, popularly known as his "Eroica" symphony, has no lyrics whatsoever. Does having no lyrics make it dumb and pointless? The music of Can has almost nothing but nonsense lyrics; does that make their music dumb and pointless? Gregorian chant and pre-Renaissance polyphony are generally just the same very short phrases repeated over and over again; are they automatically dumb and pointless?
posted by koeselitz at 5:45 PM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's more of that dreaded Daft Punk review:
Maybe I just haven't taken enough ecstasy and horse tranquilizers to appreciate the tinny, sampled brass ensemble, the too-sincere "chill out" midsection, or the fat drum machine beats that throb in time with my headache.

Few things are more incriminating than Daft Punk's own lyrics...
He's dismissive of electronic dance music as something you need drugs to enjoy, and complains that the "fat drum machine beats" give him a headache. And again harps on the lyrics.

So where are we supposed to find value in this review? It's like sending a young rock critic into an Italian opera, who comes out complaining that you couldn't understand the lyrics, but you get the feeling that it's just too damned dramatic.

There's criticism, and then there's dismissal without understanding.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:56 PM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah... exactly. "This jazz thing... I don't understand all this extended noodling about. I get snatches and suggestions of melody, but I only hear anything coherent at the beginning and at the end of the performance. It's like they make an opening statement and then just fuck around for several minutes and then get back to the actual song. Why can't they just play the damn song for real???" 0 of 5 stars.
posted by hippybear at 7:11 PM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


"If this one simply isn’t for you, then fair enough. But Daft Punk shouldn’t be criticised for their ambition with this divisive album, for wanting to subvert current norms, for introducing new generations to legends like Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder, for wanting to rediscover some excitement in the production process and for wanting to rekindle a lost spirit that is nowhere to be seen in the commercial, large-scale end of dance/electronic music. Who else is going to take a risk like this? Deadmau5?"
posted by rollbiz at 7:21 PM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why do people keep acting like this is a stupid point of view without giving anything to refute it? Did the world suddently wake up one day, 5 years ago or 10 years ago, and decide that rather than championing music like the Pixes or Fiery Furnaces it was okay for even serious music critics to like repetative dance music and slick pop like Phoenix?

As a grown adult with full control of his faculties Id like to think I can champion all of those.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:36 PM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


If this one simply isn’t for you, then fair enough. But Daft Punk shouldn’t be criticised for their ambition with this divisive album

Yeah, I mean it's not really my thing, but I applaud them for trying something unusual. Though I think it's a little off to imply that nobody in dance music is doing anything different or ambitious.
posted by empath at 7:52 PM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I mean it's not really my thing, but I applaud them for trying something unusual. Though I think it's a little off to imply that nobody in dance music is doing anything different or ambitious.

I don't think this was meant to say that NO ONE is doing anything different or ambitious, but simply that those flush with audience and resource are not.

(Thanks for the link, by the way. I'll be checking it out)
posted by rollbiz at 8:08 PM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think this was meant to say that NO ONE is doing anything different or ambitious, but simply that those flush with audience and resource are not.

And that's the real trick. Context is everything.
If Max Cooper (who I love) tried this and it failed then a year would pass and no biggie (and if we're being totally honest he would have found much more immediate praise) he'd be back to his normal modes.
What's amazing here is Daft Punk having so much available to them if they'd only just turn in another Discovery, maybe a with a few new sounds. But that would never have worked anyway since everyone has built this up in their minds to require not just sounds they've never heard before but sounds that no one has. That tricky little spot in your brain where you expect something to scratch it but you don't know what that is. Which is easy for the user, harder to impossible for the server.
I love this record. It honestly sounds like it was made for me and my tastes. And I am all but certain history will be kinder to it than what we've seen this week.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:06 AM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


As Thomas Bangalter said to Pete Tong, Random Access Memories could be deemed as the first Daft Punk studio album ever, in the sense of going in the studio to actually record an album.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


My listening diary:

Day One: Holy crap, this is amazing!
Day Two: Yeah,there are some catchy songs and a few minor spine-tingling moments
Day Three: Um. You know, if I'm gonna do this, I'd really rather listen to Steely Dan.
Day Four: Holy crap, Steely Dan is amazing!
posted by neroli at 2:16 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


decide that rather than championing music like the Pixes

aaaaaaaaaaaaahahhaaa

ahahaaaaaaa

ahahha
posted by ominous_paws at 3:12 PM on May 16, 2013


Ain't never gonna do it without the fez on.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:05 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


30 of Daft Punk at Even Further in 1996, streamable from Soundcloud (download the mix here). There's also this mis-labeled mix, which is actually an hour-long set on Fun Radio in 1998.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:46 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


A sad footnote: Romanthony, who provided the vocals to One More Time and Too Long, has just passed.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:17 AM on May 20, 2013


Incidentally, Pitchfork just posted their review of RAM. It's actually a pretty good review, I think.
posted by koeselitz at 10:24 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Received my hard copy CD of the album today. Liner notes confirm: Nathan East, Omar Hakim, John JR Robinson. Yep. And that, folks, is how you make sure your dance album is amazing.
posted by The World Famous at 1:49 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading further in the liner notes - not only did they hire some of the best studio musicians in the world to actually play the music, but they also got legends of production and engineering to be the ones to actually record, engineer, mix, and master it, instead of recording, mixing, engineering, and mastering it themselves (Bob Ludwig! Peter Franco! Mick Guzauski!). It's very cool to hear all those amazing musicians, producers, and recording, mixing, and mastering people working together to realize the vision of a great team of producers.
posted by The World Famous at 2:50 PM on May 20, 2013


The World Famous: “Reading further in the liner notes - not only did they hire some of the best studio musicians in the world to actually play the music, but they also got legends of production and engineering to be the ones to actually record, engineer, mix, and master it, instead of recording, mixing, engineering, and mastering it themselves (Bob Ludwig! Peter Franco! Mick Guzauski!). It's very cool to hear all those amazing musicians, producers, and recording, mixing, and mastering people working together to realize the vision of a great team of producers.”

It should be noted, incidentally, that this is very much a first for them. There were a couple of reasons why people were a little resistant to your comment above to this effect; one of them was that it sounded a little dismissive, but the other interesting wrinkle on this is that Daft Punk have, since their inception, stridently and emphatically fought to make music on a small scale using only what they had at hand. This is the meaning of the title of their first album, Homework, and all the way through their last full-length non-live release as a group (Human After All) they insisted on producing everything in their homes and with laptops. They were very, very good at that – pioneers in many ways, and while they clearly weren't the first to make laptop music they did break some new ground in insisting that laptop music and home-recorded music could hold itself to the same perfectionist standards that studio-produced music did, evoking orchestral lushness and sonic diversity without an orchestra or even a studio. Honestly they even took this further than anyone expected; on Human After All they sort of upped that game by furthermore forcing themselves to produce their music rapidly and off-the-cuff.

So – yeah. This is wholly new territory. It should also be noted, I think, that having other people sing, play, and produce your music doesn't necessarily remove artistic agency any more than Andrei Rublev is not Tarkovsky's simply because he, the director, had hundreds of people acting, holding the cameras, and doing other things to help. I think it's a bold thing, actually, for Daft Punk to turn around and change completely the way they produce music – and the fact that they've been so successful at it is pleasantly surprising. They really have taste, they know who the hottest musicians in the world are for this stuff, and they know how to pick people to help them bring their vision to life. I like that a lot, and I think one can say this is even an overt theme of the record. Their albums have always been themed around their production and influences anyhow.
posted by koeselitz at 3:43 PM on May 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


They really have taste, they know who the hottest musicians in the world are for this stuff, and they know how to pick people to help them bring their vision to life.

I don't disagree with that - and I agree with your entire comment. But come on, now - You don't have to know who the hottest musicians in the world are to pick the people they picked. Nathan East and John JR Robinson are, no exaggeration, the most successful and in-demand studio bassist and drummer in the world (look at the tagline on Robinson's website). Omar Hakim was in Weather Report and Chic and has played for Sting, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Bowie, Miles Davis, Brian Ferry, Everything But The Girl, and played all the drums on Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms album in two days on short notice and no rehearsals. Bob Ludwig is the most famous mastering engineer in the world, Guzauski is a multi-platinum engineer who did the work for Earth, Wind & Fire, Madonna, Talking Heads, Quincy Jones, and Michael Bolton, Clapton, Mariah Carey, and did did the 5.1 surround sound mixes for the remaster of Thriller.

It doesn't take vast musical or industry knowledge to pick those studio musicians and engineers or to pick Nile Rodgers, Julian Casablancas, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, and Pharrell Williams. Those are obvious choices - and good ones. What it takes is enough industry clout, fame, and money to actually get those people to work on the album. Though, in fairness, to get Nathan East and John JR Robinson, what you really need is money and enough scheduling flexibility to get on their calendar.

And even if you have the clout, fame, and money to get all those people in a room to make music, you're not going to get a brilliant album out of it like Daft Punk did unless you arrive with the vision and the music ready for them to play and with the production skills necessary to get them all on the same page and to turn the project from an amazing few weeks in the studio into a well-edited, well-arranged, coherent piece of music.

The studio musicians they got play on a ton of stuff, and almost none of it sounds as good as what Daft Punk have put together. That's saying something.
posted by The World Famous at 4:02 PM on May 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


We Went to the Daft Punk Album Premiere in Wee Waa, Australia, Pop. 2,100
posted by hippybear at 7:22 PM on May 20, 2013


We Went to the Daft Punk Album Premiere in Wee Waa, Australia, Pop. 2,100

ah to make up for some negativity here's a bunch of local outlets going to Wee Waa:

Junkee

SMH

FL

themusic

i kinda wished they'd all stayed there
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:41 PM on May 20, 2013


To all the people that don't like the record using that as cover to brand it a "flop":
It's gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews (87 aggregate on metacritic) and is selling huge.
You are a minority. It's officially an acclaimed album on both relevant sides of the fence.
You are free to not like it, but it's a critically acclaimed success. It's not a flop just because you didn't like that it wasn't Trentemoller or whatever.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously. There's a really odd, seemingly small but vocal backlash against this album.

I also noticed something very interesting though. If you tell someone who doesn't like this kind of funk music that its daft punk, then play it for them... They'll generally hate it.

However, if they just walk up and you're listening to it, the same kinds of people who would probably spew flames about how it's crap often go "oh, this is pretty cool. Who is it?" And start grooving.

The way I figured this out, is that I was at a thrift store and found a really nice boombox with an iPod dock. I already had batteries that fit it, and it was a nice warm sunny day, so I just slapped an old beat up iPod in it with the album and went to a very popular large park in the middle of town.

I ran in to a lot of people I knew, almost all asked "ohh, what's this?" In a "hey this sounds cool" kinda way. The majority of random people gave me thumbs ups or were obviously grooving on it if they even paid attention.

I got invited to party with a bunch of random people I had never met.

I ended up walking through the busy bar district with those people, still blasting the album on my box, and every drunk person I walked by was dancing a bit, or yelling shit, or cheering, or thumbs-upping. I didn't see a single negative reaction.

In fact, I've only talked to two people in meatspace who didn't like it. Almost the entire negative reaction is online, and it really comes off as being two camps; the early 2000s style pitchfork elitists, and the bro-step WHERE'S THA DROP? Types. Hobby horses are being ridden hard here.

The average person likes this album. Everyone from my early 20s friends(with aforementioned exceptions) to my parents really like it. Does that make it "uncool"? I don't know. But it's good music.
posted by emptythought at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2013


It's kinda growing on me a little bit, but I still think its mostly forgettable and not nearly as good as any of their previous albums. It's inoffensive enough that a lot of people will think that it's 'good' but it isn't going to change anyone's life. It's basically Muzak.
posted by empath at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2013


Unscientific test: I played the album at home, without saying anything at all about it. The only song that got my wife's feet tapping, or any response at all, was Get Lucky.

I recognize the talent involved in getting this album together, but to me it just falls flat and seems like less than the sum of its parts.
posted by zsazsa at 1:57 PM on May 22, 2013


My wife had the album on in the car through all her various errands yesterday. When I put the two-year-old in his car seat this morning and the music turned on on a track other than "Get Lucky," he said, in his choppy, two-year-old talk: "No. Not the Tron robot song, daddy. The Michael Jackson one." So yeah, "Get Lucky" is far from my favorite track on the album, but the two-year-old has spoken after hearing the album once.
posted by The World Famous at 2:25 PM on May 22, 2013


Almost the entire negative reaction is online, and it really comes off as being two camps; the early 2000s style pitchfork elitists, and the bro-step WHERE'S THA DROP? Types.

You sure know a lot about anonymous strangers on the internet, huh?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:29 PM on May 22, 2013


After having finally been able to listen to this through a few times, I've come to the conclusion that this is one the best produced, polished hours of boring music every made. It's like they took the best Michael Jackson grooves, simplified them into schlock, and then made them sound absolutely impeccable.

I'm a sucker for Giorgio by Moroder and Contact though. The drums sound soooo good.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:41 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm a sucker for Giorgio by Moroder and Contact though. The drums sound soooo good.

I wish they'd do the Trent Reznor thing and release multitrack stems. I'd pay good money for a high-quality recording of all the alternate takes and unused drum and bass tracks.

The album cover should really be a photo of John JR Robinson, Omar Hakim, and Nathan East.
posted by The World Famous at 3:11 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, GBM is wonderful.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2013


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