Sunday, March 13, 2005

Human After All

I'm just really upset right now, that's all there is to it. I love Daft Punk. I was very excited the other day when I saw that their new album, Human After All, is being streamed on I didn't hesitate to check it out.

Human After All is a misnomer. On this Parisian duo's third album, the robots have scrapped all of the human elements that made their last record Discovery a near masterpiece. Don't get me wrong, it's always been very clear that Daft Punk is an electronic group, but their previous records have combined a lot of different elements. Human After All is void of any human vocals or instrumentation. Gone are the funk basslines and mad guitar work. In working to recreate themselves, the duo may have taken a step back.

The album starts of strong with the title track - an upbeat, guitar and vocoder medley. By track two, it sounds like the duo is really hitting their stride. "Prime time of your life" weaves robotic voices in an out and, just when the song heads towards a climax, the momentum gets lost in an accelerating pattern of fuzz. Maybe great for the end of album, but out of place as the second track.

It's all down hill from there. "Robot Rock" begins with a nice loop, but never becomes more than that and "Steam Machine" is an out-of-place noise track. Daft Punk finally gets into a nice groove on "Make Love" before giving way to the unfortunate "The Brain Washer."

The album ends on a positive note with "Emotion," a drawn-out, come down track. It's too bad that the previous tracks didn't give anything to come down from.

All of this said, I will probably still buy the record, set for release on March 15. I have given it several listens, hoping it would grow on me. Thus far, it hasn't. It really gets me down because there has been a four year gap between each of their releases. Am I going to have to wait until 2009 for Daft Punk to redeem themselves?

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