Table of Contents
Random Access Memories (10th Anniversary Edition)
- Genre: Dance
- Date: 12 May, 2023
- Content: Not-explicit
- Region: NGA
- Track(s): 22
- ℗ 2023 Daft Life Limited under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
After an agonizing eight-year wait, the world was rightfully anticipating big things from Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s follow-up to their 2005 album. However, from the time “Get Lucky” was teased in two 15-second spots on a 2013 episode of Saturday Night Live, it was evident that this wouldn’t be a typical Daft Punk record – if such a thing existed.
With cameos from Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, Panda Bear, Paul Williams, and long-time collaborator Todd Edwards, “Random Access Memories” blessed the world. This was to be their sole studio album, and in terms of its lush production and cast of guest contributors, it still sounds unlike anything else by Daft Punk, or any other artist, even a decade later. Gone was the dependence on electronics for warmer, more organic sounds and textures.
Album Cover Art
“Showing their faces” is a relative term when discussing Daft Punk. Their actual faces are hidden under their helmets. Still, their robot helmets are inseparably linked to their public personas; they can therefore be compared to having physical looks. The dark background and split faces drew inspiration from the cover image for their single “Harder Better Faster Stronger,” released in 2001.
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s brand recognition extends beyond their names at this point in their careers since they are so instantly recognizable. The helmets speak every word.
Tracks and Features
“Give Life Back To Music,” the album’s opening track, is performed as “GLBTM,” a funky mashup of piano and orchestral instruments that gradually develops into a full-fledged Chic-esque groove that lasts about two minutes longer than the album cut but is all the better for it. In “GL,” “Get Lucky” is given a 30-second alternate rendition that sounds like it was played on a Wurlitzer, while “LYTD” revamps the Pharrell-fronted song ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’ to feature the duo’s signature robot vocals and new lyrics.
The robots and Julian Casablancas reunite for the slow reflective jam “Infinity Repeating” and “Prime,” a stirring instrumental demo that spans pulsating synths, strings, and disco beats throughout more than four and a half minutes and feels like an intriguing scrapbook of musical ideas, is heavily influenced by Tron: Legacy.
The listener is given a documentary-style view of the recording sessions in “The Writing of Fragments of Time,” which offers an even deeper look behind the scenes. Over the song’s instrumental, Thomas Bangalter and Todd Edwards converse and improvise vocally while they write the lyrics and melody. While it isn’t a filler, it’s fascinating to learn about the creative process of such a secretive group.
Finally, a different take on “Touch” isolates the individual components of the Paul Williams-fronted song, keeping the whirling synths and sweeping orchestral strings but replacing the vocal with a solo, choral interpretation of the chorus, “Hold on, if love is the answer you’re home.” Unfortunately, it uses the same edit that preceded “Epilogue,” giving the impression that it’s somewhat of a swansong. Yet, even without the visuals, it’s still so moving.
|1||Give Life Back to Music||Daft Punk|
|2||The Game of Love||Daft Punk|
|3||Giorgio by Moroder||Daft Punk|
|5||Instant Crush||Daft Punk & Julian Casablancas|
|6||Lose Yourself to Dance||Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams|
|7||Touch||Daft Punk & Paul Williams|
|8||Get Lucky||Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers|
|11||Fragments of Time||Daft Punk & Todd Edwards|
|12||Doin’ it Right||Daft Punk & Panda Bear|
|14||Horizon Ouverture||Daft Punk|
|15||Horizon (Japan CD)||Daft Punk|
|16||GLBTM (Studio Outtakes)||Daft Punk|
|17||Infinity Repeating (2013 Demo)||Daft Punk, Julian Casablancas & The Voidz|
|18||GL (Early Take)||Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers|
|19||Prime (2012 Unfinished)||Daft Punk|
|20||LYTD (Vocoder Tests)||Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams|
|21||The Writing of Fragments of Time||Daft Punk & Todd Edwards|
|22||Touch (2021 Epilogue)||Daft Punk & Paul Williams|
This feels like a heartfelt eulogy for a musical force that had us guessing for nearly three decades, even though it is only a collection of demos and offcuts. But, unfortunately, most of us don’t recognize or love this Daft Punk. The duo’s latest edition is shabby and experimental, which adds to its allure.
It’s still difficult to accept that we might never hear or see anything like them again, but we should all be thankful if the machines are now okay with us hearing their human side.
Daft Punk, DJ Falcon, Julian Casablancas & Todd Edwards produced the album.
Give Life Back to Music
Daft Punk - The Game of Love (Official Audio)
Daft Punk - Giorgio by Moroder (Official Audio)
Daft Punk - Within (Drumless Edition) (Official Lyric Video)
Daft Punk - Instant Crush (Video) ft. Julian Casablancas
Daft Punk - Lose Yourself to Dance (Official Version)
Daft Punk - Touch (Official Audio) ft. Paul Williams
Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers)
Daft Punk - Fragments of Time (Official Audio) ft. Todd Edwards
Daft Punk - Doin' it Right (Official Audio) ft. Panda Bear
Daft Punk - Contact (Official Audio)
Daft Punk - Horizon Ouverture (Official Audio)
Daft Punk - Horizon (Japan CD) (Official Audio)
Daft Punk - GLBTM (Studio Outtakes) (Official Audio)
Daft Punk - Infinity Repeating (2013 Demo) (feat. Julian Casablancas+The Voidz)
Daft Punk - GL (Early Take) (Official Audio) ft. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers
Daft Punk - Prime (2012 Unfinished) (Official Audio)
Daft Punk - LYTD (Vocoder Tests) (Official Audio) ft. Pharrell Williams