Daft Punk’s Puzzling New Album

Sasha Frere-Jones:

Noodly jazz fusion instrumentals? Absolutely. Soggy poetry and kid choirs? Yes, please. Clichés that a B-list teen-pop writer would discard? Bring it on. The duo has become so good at making records that I replay parts of “Random Access Memories” repeatedly while simultaneously thinking it is some of the worst music I’ve ever heard. Daft Punk engages the sound and the surface of music so lovingly that all seventy-five loony minutes of “Random Access Memories” feel fantastic, even when you are hearing music you might never seek out. This record raises a radical question: Does good music need to be good?

I really really like this album, but1 I feel like I’m being tricked into it because every track is something/someone other than Daft Punk. The formula is overwhelmingly riffs on top of a drum track that never progress. The closest we get to that is the “come on come on come on come on Come on Come on COME ON COME ON COME ON COME ONNNNNNN” of Lose Yourself To Dance.

Still the best new music I’ve heard this year.


  1. I know it’s nitpicking, but the bar was raised REALLY high already.