Review Summary: “Alive 1997” is a well mixed 45-minute jam session, filled with trademark French house and swirling electro beats.
House music has been around for many years now, jumping from country to country and recreating itself with traditional style. Then in the early 90’s, two French electro-heads happened to pass it by, and shape it well. Daft Punk is the legend we all know, whether its pure house music, anime-referenced pop or robot rocking, it still manages to appeal strongly to the mainstream. One of the reasons is there image, in robot helmets and suits its hard not to like these guys. But long before the helmets were forced on, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem Christo were DJ’s at many small local clubs. One of the places being the popular Rex Club in Paris. “Alive” was there shot to stardom, immediately topping charts and scoring big with dance fans. The year was 1997, and shortly after the success of “Around The World”, Daft Punk began side projects focused on underground club-goers.
“Alive 1997” is a well mixed 45-minute jam session, filled with trademark French house and swirling electro beats. Unfortunately, this live album is purely made for parties and clubs. There are no individual tracks, no breakdowns or interludes. Unlike its 2007 release, 1997 flows throughout the length. The raw definition of house. Even though it felt Bangalter had a stronger performance here, Guy-Man is hardly noticable behind some of Thomas’ older solo tracks that are frequently mixed. Does it get worse? No. The only flaw I see is the attempt to revive DJ Bangalter’s almost dying past career. It works, but to a limit. The songs, apart from the surprise drop-in’s from “Da Funk” & “New Wave”, sound completely fresh and exhilirating.
At points it breaks down into an amazing buzz of techno-rave, quite the right dose to give you an orgy. What keeps the listener tuned is its professional and dedicated approach to the genre.
Daft Punk has proved that dance music can be more than just Boten Anna lack vocals and Casio board sampling. “Alive 1997” is an album you can truly appreciate, and also flash your friends once in a while on its sheer brilliance. I do think it triumph’s over the newer 2007 version, for reasons too obvious to mention. While 07 was more live-focused, 97 serves its purpose as both a live and party album to jam to in your garage or outdoors. A must-listen.
Recommended tracks (by length time):
03:59 – 05:59
12:34 – 17:01
36:35 – 45:09