Well, since I did a review for Get Lucky, why not just do a shot at the whole thing?
I just got the chance since the past two days to listen to the whole album front and back and managed to pick out a couple of my favourites and discuss them with you here. The album is very deeply enriched with the sounds of the late 70's and early 80's, where I also grew up with the music back then. The album flows flawlessly through with the disco beats and the rounding drums clearly residing in your headphones and can be heard all so clearly. And so, what really inspired them to get that kind of sound? As the album title suggests, the Daft Punk duo was said to encapsulate their interest in the past, including both random-access memory technology and the human experience. The album also pays homage to stars Michael Jackson, The Cars and Steely Dan, which showcases the foray of diving into disco sounding vibes. Eventually, one of my personal favourite album, The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd was also a model for this album. And so, it happened, as the album takes you through a journey on levels unheard of. Well, I already talked about Get Lucky featuring Pharrell Williams, so you can read about it here. And to be honest, Get Lucky didn't get me involved when I heard it for the first time. The tingling guitars from Nile Rodgers was soothing, but it was never exciting to me. A few more listens and Get Lucky improved dramatically. From a never possible kind of atmosphere, it changed to a positive high-end earthquake. This song got me pumped for Random Access Memories, and highly so. Not to forget, it also ignited Pharrell Williams' career as his collaboration along with T.I. and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines overtook the number one spot on Billboard Hot 100. Still, we're on Daft Punk's track so let's continue.
Let's talk about some songs that really stood-out to me. We'll dive into the opening track, Give Life Back to Music. This song immediately opens up and drops you straight into the disco dancing vibe and wastes no time getting you familiarised into the sound of the album. It is one of the few songs which I felt was awesome and unbelievable, the vocoders and the drums instantly filling the void and jump starts the aftermath of the party. Another song would be Contact, the closing track as it features captain Eugene Cernan of the Apollo 17 mission as he describes a flashing object from a window of his capsule. Contact includes some of the best synthesizers on the record, along with an amazing guitar chord and this sound perfectly closes the album. Definitely one my favourites on the album. Also, there was The Game of Love, featuring vocoders which also subtly describes the situation. The emotions, raw, can be heard under stilling guitar riffs and everything else just falls into place. Make no mistake that there is absolutely no song on this album that is bad. If it is, then most stereotypes would be looking at a generation of 80's music as 'lost' and 'dead'.
There were some songs which I didn't really capture, but were still great. For example, Within's opening stance of a piano ballad shifted the mood of the first three songs, which I accepted. The piano was played by Chilly Gonzales as the vocoder voice says, 'there are so many things I don't understand,' and the chilling voice just invokes so much that this song could do in under 4 minutes, which was the shortest song on the album. I didn't like it, but I felt more could be added. That said, it was still a heavy masterpiece production. That said, Beyond and Motherboard for me were also not as exciting as the other tracks as well. Beyond featured orchestral strings almost feeling theatrical-like as the lyrics take you on an imaginative experience. Motherboard on the other hand was futuristic as the bouncing drums and the violins tap in. The track was unlike any other on the album, ditching away sounds of disco and funk for this track only. Good songs, but both weren't as special to me as the others.
And we come to my absolute favourites on the album. First up, Lose Yourself to Dance featuring Pharrell Williams tops the list. Catchy, drums exploding on at the start, amazing synthesizers, and Pharrell's vocals once again makes for interesting yet almost awesome sounds that Lose Yourself ineptly creates. Yes, you'll find yourself dancing and swaying to this track as it keeps the funk and disco fever going. Vocoders also repeat phrases 'come on' and this song won't let you stop at any moment. Next on the list is Fragments of Time featuring Todd Edwards, which was what immediately caught my attention. The 80's vibe is instantly clear on this track as it undoubtedly captures the true sound of that generation. Even Todd's vocals are great and undeniably catchy. This track really takes you out and just tells a story of the 80's. Lastly, the dancey catch tunes of Doin' It Right will keep you moving. The song features Panda Bear who also sings alongside the vocoder sounds of Daft Punk. This song encapsulates the fun of the album and is a must listen. It is another of my favourites as it is really awesome, fun and exciting, and also revitalizes everything around it.
Lastly, the guest features on this album are aplenty. Todd Edwards and Panda Bear are featured and already talked, so let's move on to an unexpected one, Giorgio Moroder. The track, Giorgio by Moroder, is almost great as it features a monologue from the guy who created the synthesizer and even collaborated with Donna Summer on the tracks Love to Love You Baby and I Feel Love. Yes, if the track name took you by surprise, then you would be more amazed as Giorgio says 'My name is Giovanni Giorgio, and they call me Giorgio.' The track then sends you into a synth flurry and is almost one of the best tracks on the album as well. Next, Instant Crush is an awesome track as it features Julian Casablanca's vocals and is one of the few songs with an enthused rock vibe. I am a big fan of rock music, so it instantly just draws me near. And the synths, once more, stands-out superbly.
10/10: Random Access Memories is unlike your other dance soothing vibe record.
It meshes funk, disco, pop, rock, synthesizers and amazing talented vocalists so well that this record is more than just jaw-dropping. RAM is unbelievable, awesome, amazing, revitalizing and equally sensational. If you need a recommendation, RAM doesn't disappoint, and 72 minutes of pure heaven is more than what one could ask for. This is a masterpiece, and Daft Punk have certainly outdone themselves.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.