daft punk Random Access Memories (Sony)
Screw the weather. To hell with the economy. Scrap the social debate. It's our duty to feel good.
And that's where Daft Punk come in.
"Lose yourself to dance" is the message they've concocted with Pharrell Williams. It's as connected to the sunshine 'n' glitterball DNA of Chic's Good Times as the current monster hit Get Lucky.
Eight years after their last album, Human After All, the runaway chart success of the French duo's collaboration with Seventies disco kingpin Nile Rodgers and Neptunes' wunderkind Williams is certain to cue a critical backlash. Ignore it.
Get your best pumps on, spread some talcum powder on the floor and get on the good foot. Williams describes the groove of Get Lucky as "a place where it's forever four in the morning".
The mood applies to most of these 13 tracks. Chillouts don't come as elegant or as introspective as the hauntingly piano-led Within. Robotic ennui is encapsulated in the bleated lyric, "I am lost. I can't even remember my name". Try telling me you haven't felt like that from time to time.
Some think that Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo are too smart for their own good. But in their case, the fundamentals are sound and the sound fundamental.
Bangalter once told me that one of the attractions of making electronic music, dragging in samples and influences from disparate sources, was the music's sense of universality.
THIS TIME AROUND, REAL MUSICIANS PLAYING LIVE LINE UP WITH THE SYNTHS AND SAMPLES. GUEST SINGERS CONTRIBUTE DIGITALLY ALTERED VOCALS TO TRACKS, ALTHOUGH JULIAN CASABLANCAS DREW THE SHORT STRAW WITH THE PLODDY INSTANT CRUSH.
While not everything's a sizzling success, Give Life Back To Music is a stormer with clipped Chic guitars and four-to-the-floor beat.
Giorgio By Moroder, a lengthy celebration of the Euro synth-pop king, is a glorious masterclass in dance. These robots are all heart. HHHHI