Review Summary: A dance/electronica album that literally takes the breath away, & leaves you with something to remember, a must have of the Electronica/Dance genre
I'm not a fan of Electronica/Dance music or the French, however, this album is the only notable exception to both. This being a dance album you’d expect this to be literally the same stuff all the way through to the end, but if you look at the name on the cover it reads “DAFT PUNK”, who are for many the high kings of House music, and they are known for making every song sound different in it’s own way.
For reviewing this album I decided to split parts of it into sections, so then I can focus on describing certain tracks & not let their descriptions run into other songs:
Tracks 1-4: The Epic Singles
This album released all the first 4 tracks as singles in the order that they appeared on the CD, something I have never seen on any other album to date.
From the minute you insert the album into the CD you are bound to recognize the opener One More Time
, which when released in 2001 made this band famous. Romanthony, did the vocals on this song, the lyrics are constantly repeated, which in a way gives the song a catchy hook meaning it will get you singing along to it, as well as dancing to it. His voice whilst singing was altered by sound, pitch and effects in certain areas of the song to add something special to it. Throughout the song you also hear a drum and synthesizer beat that are both repeated to good nature to give the song some flow to it. In all a great song that opens the album nicely.
Up next comes Aerodynamic
, which is the first instrumental song this album has to offer, starting off with the bells that One More Time left you with it bursts out into a sonic experiment of keyboard effects that makes a funky beat, but just over a minute into the song comes a guitar solo, which changes the whole aspect of the song and for a brief moment on it’s own shows you it by reflecting the flurry of fast finger tapping. After the solo segues into the fast paced Funk beat that begun the song it goes into a slow synthesizer passage that picks up speed towards it’s end as the song flows into Digital Love
, which is my personal favourite on this album. This love song featured vocals done by Daft Punk themselves, with it’s lyrics & fascinating keyboard & synthesizer passage sets the scene for what would be a romantic moment between a couple. The middle of the song features a bridge section comprised of the electric piano pounding away creating a unique sound. What follows this is a guitar solo which will literally leave you either open mouthed or having your head blown off, as it’s fast paced & technical nature, it sounds like it was done by synthesizer, but it wasn’t, as it was fed through one to give a unique effect to it. The final of the four is the Dance anthem Harder Better Faster Stronger
. Many consider this being the genius of Daft Punk working at it’s best. Creating a song that has a beat that will get your feet pounding to, an instrumental structure that resembles an industrial factory at work and lyrics that are very simplistic but very effective to drive the song forward. What we have here is a perfect dancefloor song that will make you want to dance to.
One hell of an opening to an album, worth a 4 for these songs alone, & the rest of the album will make up for the rest of the rating
Tracks 5-8: The Middle Section
For me this section of the album is where it starts to dip a little in terms of quality songs, whilst they are good, there are some drawbacks.
From the start of the fifth song Crescendolls
, you notice this song to be very different from the songs you have heard previously. It has a constant repetitive beat and sound, which for me gets annoying after awhile. Nightvision
is one of many calm and relaxing instrumentals that old the rest of the album together & it lets your mind flow free with a soothing synthesizer tone. What follows is Superheroes
, which for me is Crescendolls but faster and less annoying. This is due to it’s change in sound with cool electronic elements and keyboard sections when it gets running which what Crescendolls didn’t do to change the impact of it. High Life
returns you to where the first half of the album had strengths, having a song with noticeable beat to it. It also spoken part with fused with synthesizers makes it hard to hear what it says, and makes the song come through Ok
This section has 3 songs, which hold their own (Nightvision, High Life Superheroes). It would all be good if Crescendolls didn’t start it off with the weakest song on the album
Tracks 9-14: The Latter & End
Here is where the album starts to pick up again. Making soft beats & clean spoken vocals a placement in some songs.
Something About Us
takes you back to the Digital Loveesque song, featuring lyrics centered around love and loss. Vocals were done by Daft Punk which will be the last song they sing on in this album. How this song differs from Digital Love is that it has a slow tone, which like the fast instruments of DL, sets the song in a tone which makes the lyrics & soft vocals fit well within. A trio of instrumental songs follow Something About Us. Voyager, Veridis Quo
and Short Circuit
. One comparison can be made between Voyager and Veridis Quo, and that is that they are slow paced synthesizer and keyboard driven tracks that both sound sort of similar but also have a different feel to it, they have a grand nature to them if you give them a closer listen & set the right mood. Don’t be surprised if they make you drift off into a slumber, because due to the nature of the songs it’ll do that to you. They are good songs but you need to be awake to get their effects in you. Short Circuit how ever is a fast paced keyboard powered song that drifts into a mesh of effects, this is a club track for sure it will get you going fast and then slow down to make you do the same. Face To Face
could well have been a single from this album, a slow beat, electric elements flow perfectly with Todd Edwards voice to create a song that holds it’s head up high. The album finale Too Long
sees Romanthony return to the mic close it, but unlike how he opened it, it has a dreary effect on listeners due to it’s ironic length (10 Minutes), and repetitive lyrics, but as the song gets going it become something that will make you wish you hadn’t skipped it or stopped during it. It brings the album to a glorified close with a flurry of great lyrics and electronic drum & keyboard elements to give you something to smile about. This section of the album brings the rest of the remaining 1.0 part of the 5/5 rating back (combining with Nightvision & Superheroes and to a small extent High Life), a very strong ending to an album.
After watching the anime film that accompanies the album, Interstella 555, you will understand the greatness of this album & the music within it, due to the flawless animation flowing in brilliantly with the music. This album is a sight to behold when listened in full, it runs through so many emotions and sound. Even though it dips slightly in the middle after an extremely strong opening it fights back to continue to get your attention & musical sense buzzing
This is probably the only dance album I will ever own, & this album is well worth being it. As it's a mind-blowing master-class of wondrous musical excellence, & albums like that only come once in every lifetime, & this one came during mine.