iTunes streamed Daft Punk’s latest album, Random Access Memories (available 5/17) yesterday and after giving it a listen or six, I can confidently say that it is a good album. One initial review I read was one of disappointment, but I’d like to attribute that more to a tendency for some music fans to compare newer projects with older, “classic” ones. I’m a huge Daft Punk fan, and felt it would only be appropriate for me to share with you five Daft Punk songs that should be in your music library.
1. “Voyager,” Discovery
Without a doubt, Discovery is my favorite Daft Punk album. In fact, it’s one of my favorite music albums, regardless of genre. With songs like “One More Time,” “Digital Love,” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” I’m sure Discovery is a favorite of others, as well. Despite the number of popular tracks on this album, the one that stands out most is “Voyager.” The beginning sounds like a mashup of Michael Jackson and your favorite electronic DJ, and after roughly over 30 seconds, there’s a small break, and then the wonderfulness begins. I have done just about everything that a human person can possibly do while listening to this song, and that includes voting and taking a final. If you’re forced to listen to one Daft Punk song repeatedly, let it be “Voyager.”
2. “Fresh,” Homework
Daft Punk’s debut album, Homework, is absolutely mind-blowing if for no other reason than that the sound of it will drive you insane…but in a good way, if there is a good way to be insane. “Fresh” sounds serene, but somewhat hectic at the same time. The synthesizer sounds combined with crashing waves give this song an almost therapeutic vibe until you realize that you’re supposed to be dancing insanely to it.
3. “Veridis Quo,” Discovery
“Veridis Quo” (from Latin phrase “Quo vadis,” or “Where are you going?”) starts off like some weird, techno-themed Peter Pan score, but once you get into the crux of the song, it’s ridiculous how awesome it is. The thing I love most about Daft Punk songs are the multiple layers to them, and “Veridis Quo” is no different. In spite of the multiple layers, the overall sound of each and every song is never lost on me. New sounds seem to come into play every 30, 45 seconds or so, but still, losing focus on the track is virtually impossible. My younger brother says that “this is some weird shit,” but he’s a Top-40 kid, so that kind of comment is to be expected. Weird? Yes. Dope? Fuck. Yes. “Veridis Quo” is not something I’d necessarily lose my shit to, but it’s still a solid #3 on this list.
4. “Teachers,” Homework
Pay homage, people. Unless you can show concrete, physical evidence to prove that you are the originator of some profession, fashion statement or some sort of creation, someone came before you in that particular field. I’m a big fan of people who acknowledge those came before them, and that is why I love “Teachers” so much. Set to “simpler” production, a list of influences of Daft Punk’s sound are read off by a computerized voice. I have often told myself that one day, I will listen to work from each name mentioned in this song. Should be some kind of mission. “Dr. Dre is in the house, yeah…”
5. “Something About Us,” Discovery
If you know even a little about Daft Punk, it’s probably that most of their songs don’t contain vocals, or at least vocals that are remotely intelligible, for the most part. “Something About Us” is very different in that regard. While no one would mistake it for Marvin Gaye-like crooning or Minnie Riperton-esque balladry, when considering Daft Punk’s style, this track is effing greatness. It’s true that if you’re head over heels in love with someone that this song will appeal to you more than if you’re not, but nevertheless, dope shit is indeed dope shit. The concept of this song is very simple. Why try to explain the beauty of finding someone that you’re compatible with and committed to when you can simply use the reasoning of “But there’s something about us…“ and it actually apply? Right. Exactly.
Originally, this list was going to be 20 songs long, but that immediately smacked me in the face as overkill. Yes, I’m partial to Homework and Discovery, but I do love Human After All as well. The sound of Human After All is very minimalist and appears to be improvised more than Daft Punk’s other studio album releases, but I won’t pretend that “Make Love,” “Robot Rock,” and especially “Technologic” wouldn’t have easily made my list of top 20 Daft Punk songs. Human After All is a damn good album. Now…
I didn’t write this post to convince you to become a Daft Punk fan, but so that you could, if you haven’t already, diversify your music library a bit. Enjoy, and as always, you’re welcome.