A&E — 20 May 2013
Travis Danner
Editor in Chief

After almost 10 years between albums, the robot kings of electronic dance music have finally returned to reclaim their throne.

But there’s a catch — they’ve completely changed their sound.

The funky Frenchmen have returned with “Random Access Memories,” their first LP since 2005’s “Human After All.” It’s expansive, it’s self-indulgent, it’s messy and it’s all over the place — it’s also almost unbearably gorgeous.

Those expecting another set of jams reminiscent of previous hits such as “One More Time” or “Around the World” may come away disappointed. The patient listener, one who’s willing to let their favorite artists experiment inside of their eardrums, will be taken on a journey.

This record extensively mines the past of pop music and somehow molds it into a rocket ship that blasts straight into the future, completely embarrassing anyone else making music.

Skrillex and his robot fart music can kindly step aside.

Daft Punk touches on so many genres in “Random Access Memories” it’s impossible to identify them all.

“Get Lucky” is a disco track as infectious as an STD at Studio 54. “Giorgio by Moroder” begins with a monologue from electro-originator Giorgio Moroder and explodes into a synth-explosion that would have sounded right at home in the 2011 Ryan Gosling masterpiece “Drive.”

They hit country slide-guitar in “Fragments of Time.”

“Touch” is an operatic tune that would bring the house down at the end of a broadway musical.

It all sounds so disjointed and in reality, it is. But, the album, in its entirety, is so beautiful that it’s impossible to not end up flatback smiling on whatever floor you find yourself — drunk on the majesty of it all.

The robots have embraced the humanity and history of dance music and ditched much of the “electronic” elements that they previously helped take over the genre.

Daft Punk is dead. Long live Daft Punk.

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