What did you want? Daft Punk to change the musical landscape of the world? Don’t you think this is to big of a task for our wonderful Daft Punk? This album does something else, it scales back everything to musicians in a room writing, jamming & recording music. Letting your hear the organic-ness of real vintage instruments: guitar, bass, Fender Rhodes, live drums, Moogs, and a very simple vocoder. This album has MAGIC, but it’s an old type of musical magic from a different time; yes we forgot this feeling. This album is tailor made to be performed LIVE with LIVE musicians, how beautiful is that? I couldn’t appreciate it more.
“Give Life Back to Music” punches in live with an electro organic funk groove. Nile Rodgers guitar brings me back to a time when life was care free and love was in the air. Live drums layered with live clapping sets it up perfectly for the vocoder to sing the chorus hook. Sampled crowd dance floor chatter brings a late 70’s vibe of community. There’s nothing complex; this song just wants you to empty out the bad and let a positive light into your soul.
“The Game Of Love” – Again Nile shines setting up a relaxing ambience for the vocoder. Daft Punk used a very simple vocoder setting, this is intentional, scaled back and real. There is no over produced flare. The Moog is on a simple setting. Yes I get it, let’s peel away the layers and get to the true essence of music. Musicians in a room playing their parts recorded straight into a vintage soundboard, this is beautiful.
“Giorgio by Moroder” – The godfather of techno sequencing. This song is along the same lines as the first two; same elements and feeling. Giorgio tells his important story, this is a history lesson of early dance music and you should pay attention. Daft Punk brings you back to the movie “Midnight Express” with this bassline sequence; you are transported to 1978. Funk and jazz electric Fender Rhodes piano… sounds like a 1978 Rhodes; I should know, I’ve owned four. Beautiful strings builds for the climax with emotional drums all surrounded by the Moroder-esque bassline sequence. If you listen close LIVE BASS!!! All through out this music! DJ Falcon adds some scratch flare; this is LIVE MUSIC you guys.
Within starts with a lightly reverberated piano, the melody is gorgeous and the Fender Rhodes sets it off perfect. Again simple vocoder tells this story of love and truth.
“Instant Crush” – A muted guitar riff of nicely placed chords sets the perfect background for an original Daft Punk auto-tune vocal. Daft Punk gives something new with this auto-tune vocal and the chorus is very complex. Dark, sad, haunting, heartfelt, and full of love. The pitch changed harmonic guitar solo brings a sound of the american classic band The Eagles yet stays contemporary. Oh lovely Moog, setting in the simple melody; and this is the perfect keyboard line that I’d want to play live onstage.
“Lose Yourself To Dance” – Slow groove Funk with Farrell Williams and the same vocoder setting. A hypnotic groove that repeats the message of the song title. In a world of chaos I suggest to put the sound up loud in your headphones, close your eyes, and dance on top of your bed.
“Touch” featuring 70’s songwriter icon Paul Williams has a heavy influence from the french band Air “Moon Safari”. Here is a man who in the 70’s to early 80’s was on top of the world, yet got lost in addiction. This song is Paul’s rebirth, what a wonderful gift Daft Punk has given; more than a song it’s a new start for a musical genius. Strings, horns, and harpsichord… I did not expect this! Modulated and delayed Moog synth with piano, the sound explores into complexity. The mini choir brings the intensity to another level, you have now been shown the naked soul of an artist.
“Get Lucky” is the dance floor hit of the album, PERIOD. There is magic to this one, every time I DJ this track, THE WHOLE CLUB will come to the dance floor and sing together in harmony. That’s what this songs does, it brings HARMONY in this crazy world; so don’t think to much, just feel the love. The talkbox hook brings back the signature Daft Punk sound we’re all hungry for; hardcore DP fans, this is for you.
“Beyond” opens with orchestra, timps, and horns; then Nile’s plucking guitar sets it off with locking live bass, Rhodes electric piano and drums. Again, vocoder is the main focus of this track with simple lyrics of love. The groove reminds me of Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers song “I Keep Forgetting”.
“Motherboard” is an instrumental combining flute, oboe, Moog synth sequencing, Moog pads, string synths, and acoustic guitar. The main feature is the brush drumstick snare rhythms. Just past mid-way the song crashes into a movie soundtrack landscape then brings back the sequenced melody.
“Fragments of Time” has a heavy influence of the 70’s band The Eagles… Imagine driving down Hollywood Sunset Strip in 1979 with the top down and a blonde, feathered hair Farah Fawcett in the passenger seat. Then you pull up to the beach and things really steam up when she unzips your bell-bottom jeans and your cocaine stained noses seem cute.
“Doin’ It Right” starts of with the vocoder hook and an 808 Drum machine. Simplicity at its best; yet the male vocal melody is not simple. Remember the days of punk rock and how the songs made you feel, “I can play this” and from that some of the best bands were formed. This should give that same feeling to EDM producers. If you’re interested in trying, may I suggest the Korg MS 2000 synthesizer’s vocoder.
“Contact” – Is there life in outer space? That’s the biggest mystery of mankind; are we alone? Daft Punk ends with biggest unanswered question… The drummer shines in this song! An organ laced with sequenced filtering Moog, four intense notes. This song will be mind-blowing LIVE onstage at their show; it’s tailored to be performed LIVE.
“Horizon” (Japanese bonus track) starts off with an accoustic strumming guitar with well thought out chord changes that go into a dreamlike wonderland with slide guitar atop this heartfelt piece. It gives a feeling of romance that ended in heartbreak. Daft Punk goes back to the 808 drum machine in its simplist form; and the vintage Clockwork Orange Moog Strings pull on your emotions until a single tear flows down your cheek. All the elements work perfectly together for this sorrowful downtempo ear-candy.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I love what Daft Punk has done for this album. As a musician myself I’m very inspired. I hope this inspires you to pick up an instrument and learn to play.