I'm Nathan. I'm 21, and I like good music. I listen to a lot of things, and occasionally I'll make mash ups or mixtapes of stuff that I like.
You might find me blogging:
Alternative or Indie Rock
Chill Out or Downtempo Music
Classic Rock or Metal
Electro House (also Progressive and Tech House)
Disco and Indie Dance
Drum n Bass
etc etc ETC BASICALLY anything which sounds good to me. I try not to write off entire genres if I can avoid it - music should be about keeping your ears open to new sounds and just liking what sounds good, regardless of what it's classified as.
Follow me on soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/fishtrek
Giorgio by Moroder for president
So Daft Punk’s album leaked a little early… check some of the songs on this guy’s soundcloud account if you like, just make sure you’re quick as they’ll be taken down soon.
I was really worried that I’d have nothing to take away from this album that I truly loved — that I’d be overwhelmed by the hype surrounding the album and that, once the dust settled, it’d just be another electronic album with a few live elements to add to my collection. At this point, it’s probably best that you stop reading and listen for yourself… but here’s my two cents on most of it, at least what I found noteworthy. Apologies for not following the album’s order strictly, this is mainly the order I listened to songs in.
The album has a very distinct sound when compared to Homework, Discovery and Human After All. It’s clear that the duo has tried to give the songs on the album a bit more soul with a touch of live instruments; a much different approach to their heavily-sampled dancefloor anthems from previous records. That said — and it pains me to say it — there are cases on this album where their signature french touch just doesn’t work. Maybe the songs will grow on me, but some songs like “Within” and “Game of Love” feel like beautiful keyboard journeys that have been ruined by a clumsy vocoder vocal layered over the top.
The vocoder is actually my main gripe with the album so far, which is a little ironic seeing how long it’s been Daft Punk’s trademark sound. “Lose Yourself To Dance” is a fine disco groove which I feel Pharrell has done a really good job with, and you can really get lost in some of the song’s sounds with the exception of the vocoder lines. “Everybody’s dancing on the floor, getting ready for more” - just comes off sounding cheesy, and not in any good way.
Touch is an 8 minute piece featuring Paul Williams which starts off resembling some of the earliest synthesised ambient music like Jean Michel Jarre… but then quickly changes into something quite different. Paul Williams has his solo time before the song builds — trumpets, strings, kick drum — the lot. This goes on for a bit before the song cools off a little and melts down to an end. I can easily see where Daft Punk have tried to revive past decades of music in this song, but to put it bluntly I don’t think this song represents those decades well, and I can’t see many modern listeners hooking onto it like “Get Lucky” , either.
Doin’ it right ft. Panda Bear is pretty repetitive, and that’s even for EDM standards. The song feels like it lacks dynamics — there’s 2.5 minutes of the same vocoder chord progression backing Panda Bear’s… I don’t want to sound harsh, but frankly uninspired lead vocals. The song as a whole doesn’t have a bass hook to make it danceable, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like something you’d whip out your phone/lighter to at a concert.
Instant Crush featuring Julian Casablancas is pretty good. I think I like Julian’s voice even if it’s autotuned, but my favourite part of the track is some of the synths that kick in around the 1.30 mark. They sound right out of a Sega Genesis game — those who have played Sonic 3 or Streets of Rage will know what I’m talking about.
Giorgio by Moroder is a 9 minute song — I posted a 3 minute preview on this blog earlier. It starts out with Giorgio talking about his history as a producer, backed with a wonderful disco beat not unlike Veridis Quo or maybe Voyager. This is my favourite song on the album.
The album’s closing track, Contact, is another one of the only songs I’ve heard so far that I’ve enjoyed without such reservations. It has its own unique sound which doesn’t bend to fit EDM standards, backing drums which sound fit for a rock song and some great synth work. The song gets really good past the 3 minute mark as it starts to rise to a great crescendo — possibly symbolising the robots blasting off and leaving earth again.
Random Access Memories is by no means a perfect album, but if anything I have to give it credit for its ambition. Daft Punk cited much of the reason for creating this album was bringing back disco and music of past generations, especially in a time when dance music is so formulaic and lacks soul. And to a degree they’ve achieved that — if not through the music on this album, by making us rethink what should define dance music and EDM today.