sat 24/03/2018

Album of the Year: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories | reviews, news & interviews

Album of the Year: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Album of the Year: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Parisian duo finally deliver on a decade of hype

Top Robocop pop

“Like the legend of the Phoenix…” So began the party song of this year, last year, next year, probably the year after.

I always thought Daft Punk were overrated. The Nineties was a wondrous narco-techno rave, then along they came with their wah-wah filter disco and every trendy from Hoxton to Brooklyn started wanking on about them, the second coming, as it were, a couple of Parisian aristos in motorcycle helmets. They were alright – fun and all that – but they were hardly Orbital or The Prodigy. They also unlocked our super-duper acid house party to an endless array of vocal house-pop gatecrashers who eventually ruined it.

With “Get Lucky” I was forced to acknowledge their brilliance. Then again, only a terminally dour fool wouldn’t. Even better, when their sparkling, superb fourth album appeared, all the tastemakers, hipsters and arbiters of taste rejected it in favour of banging on about Savages, Disclosure, Vampire Weekend or whatever. Somehow, that such excellence was hiding in plain sight made every listen to its startlingly luscious pop all the more pleasurable. With its beautiful ghost-in-the-machine balladry, chic funk, vocodered flights of fancy, opulent electronica, even a prog-pop suite that sounded as if it were from a sci-fi musical, the whole lot never left the car stereo.

That said, Deap Vally’s debut album Sistrionix was a close contender, two women from California channelling Led Zep in the sassiest blues-rockin' explosion this side of White Stripes’ prime cuts. They will go far and were equal tops of 2013 round my way. Other albums to chase this year included Rizzle Kicks’ punchy fizz, Chase & Status’s newfound dark but shiny adventurousness, Major Lazer, Palma Violets, the Kraftwerk-ian return of OMD, and the stunning warped future-tronic R&B weirdness of Lapalux

It was pleasing that Dutch chanteuse Caro Emerald’s The Shocking Miss Emerald hit the top spot, a woman with Cole Porter vibes in her heart who was still studiously ignored by a possibly xenophobic UK media. Camper Van Beethoven’s La Costa Perdita was a gem, just beautiful American songwriting, tinted with quirky pathos. And, finally, Pet Shop Boys returned with Electric, a decent album but one song from it, “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” was about as good as anything they’ve ever written or, indeed, anyone else managed in 2013.

Except Daft Punk, of course.

Overleaf: Watch the video for "Lose Yourself to Dance" (just to make a change from "Get Lucky" - although it does also feature Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers)

That such excellence was hiding in plain sight made every listen to its startlingly luscious pop all the more pleasurable


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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