Daft Punk
Human After All


3.5
great

Review

by Daniel Incognito EMERITUS
July 29th, 2005 | 28 replies | 25,933 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


For years now Daft punk have be churning up dance-pop hit after dance-pop hit. Their playful pop melodies have earned them a place in the modern day pop scene, while they have still managed to keep respect in some parts of the electronic music scene. They have gone from hit to hit over the years with singles such as Da Funk, Around The World and One More Time all receiving tremendous accolades in both the pop culture scene and the dance music scene.

It has been a long wait for their new album to come out, with diehard fans having to wait around 4 years between each album. With such a long wait between albums, it is no wonder that the expectations for Human After All were very high. To release a bad album could result in killing their fan base, to release an average album would result in a very disappointed fan base. The fans expected nothing less than musical perfection for their 3rd album (4th including Alive 1997). So when fans heard that the duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were trying to create an album in as short amount of time as possible, it was natural for fans to feel they were being a bit cheated.

Every album seems to get leaked before its release these days, and Human After All was no different. Human After All was leaked to the internet a few weeks before its release. However, funny as it may sound. Most fans did not believe that it was actually Human After All, many fans warned others not to download the leak because it was a fake. They proclaimed it sounded too cheap and dirty to be the real thing, and that the sound just did not fit Daft Punk at all. Little did they know, they were listening to the real thing.

The album starts off in typical Daft Punk fashion, Human After All the track of the same name as the album is exactly what you would expect from Daft Punk. The song starts off with a simple drum pattern that repeats itself throughout the song, while a hooking voice sample saying what sounds like 'Yeaah-ah' mixed with a Vocoder and a Synthesizer is played in various forms over the track, while changing tone and gain subtly over the course of the track. This is all mixed in with catchy synth notes, and an irresistible voice humming and singing. All the parts put together make for an insatiable effect, leaving you wanting more and more every time you listen to it. Human After All is one of those rare Dance tracks that you will love straight away, and will keep finding things to like about it with every repeated play. The song also ties into the ideas and feel of the whole album, creating a very robotic effect, while countering with lyrics like 'We are Human After All'. Although the themes involved in the song are not instantly clear, they begin to reveal themselves as the album progresses. Human After All really does set a very high standard for the rest of the album.

Following on from that is the song The Prime Time Of Your Life which contains a number of familiar Daft Punk sounds. The song starts off promising, just like almost every other Daft Punk song, but soon turns into an annoying grinding sound. Although rhythmic and slightly interesting on the first few listens, it soon just turns into a grinding, headache inducing affair that speeds up towards the end of the song. Until at the end it just becomes the sound of a motorbike. To some it may be considered musical experimentation, to me it just sounds like Daft Punk have gotten a bit bored and decided to play around with their artistic crowd. Following on from that is the rather catchy first single, Robot Rock. The Drum intro, although incredibly simplistic is rather catchy, and when the synthesized guitar comes in, the song really starts getting its groove on. The song maintains a steady repetitive riff and beat with a few fillers. The vocals are once again Robot-esque, and help add to the overall ideas of the album. Every single note and beat in the song sounds as if it is saying 'Rock, Robot Rock', as if the song is trying to drill into your head a subliminal message. Many will consider Robot Rock overly-repetitive and annoying. Others may find a lust for the song, and its strangely catchy rhythm, that although annoying in nature, is also very rewarding to listen to.

The other very robotic tracks on the album, Technologic, Steam Machine, Television Rules the Nation and The Brainwasher all contain their ups and downs. To say they're not repetitive would be a lie, to dismiss this repetitiveness as something insignificant would be absurd. The overly-repetitive nature does take a lot of the enjoyment out of the songs, not so much on the first few listens. But further down the road, can cause a fair bit of annoyance. These tracks however feature a number of catchy and addictive features. Television Rules the Nation with its droning voice and sweeping Synth sounds is one highlight on the album. The vocals repeating 'Television Rules the Nation' may not be very creative, but they help create a very gloomy vibe, and reflect very well on the lyrics and their meaning. Once again pushing the message that we are slowly becoming more routine in our nature, more demanding of ourselves, less human. All of the songs mentioned in this paragraph have their faults, all of them far too repetitive. Only Technologic and Television Rules the Nation avoid becoming too repetitive, but only just.

Human After All is not just a big robotic synth fest, the album features two more romantic tunes, aptly titled Make Love and Emotion. Both are very dissimilar to Daft Punk's previous romantic outings like Nightvision and Digital Love. They have more of a relaxed feeling and a rougher unpolished sound, which although common in the other songs, is very evident in Make Love and Emotion. Neither of the songs manage to stir much emotion despite their overwhelming potential. Both just seem to fall up a bit short to be up to the high standard set by Daft Punk's previous outings.

The robotic themes that are so prevalent throughout the album, slowly unravel in a very clever manner. With every song more depth is added to the message, culminating in an overall message of increasingly robotic lifestyle. We are slowly becoming more robotic, a nation glued to the television screen, going about our daily routines in a bland lifestyle. Perhaps the overly repetitive nature of Human After All is a message to the dance music, that they are slowly becoming more robotic and more repetitive; creating a new genre, Robot Rock. Or perhaps Daft Punk does not have a message in this album, and that they just wanted to create an album about robots.

As an album Human After All falls short of its predecessors in almost every area. Daft Punk bit off more than it could chew with this album, they simply tried to do too much in too little time. How they recorded an electronic album in a matter of a couple of weeks is beyond me, but the areas they skimmed over are clearly lacking. It is because of these weak parts that Human After All just does not quite deliver as you would expect it to. Some of the songs are absolutely brilliant and riveting (Human After All, Robot Rock, Television Rules The Nation). While others are clearly lacking and just sound like they were put in to increase the albums length from that of an EP to a full length album (On/Off, The Prime Time of Your Life). The repetitive and innocent nature that Daft Punk songs possess show up in all of the songs on this album, however only in a few songs does Daft Punk prevent the songs from becoming overly-repetitive. This leaves Human After All feeling like an above average effort, nothing spectacular. For diehard Daft Punk fans this rushed effort will be a major disappointment, for casual listeners Human After All will be another above average CD to add to their collection.

As they say, sometimes it is necessary to take a step backwards in order to continue to progress in the future. Let us hope that Human After All is the step backwards.



Recent reviews by this author
Daft Punk Random Access MemoriesOmar S Just Ask the Lonely
Maceo Plex Life IndexPaul Kalkbrenner Icke Wieder
Gold Panda Lucky ShinerFlying Lotus L.A. EP 3 X 3
user ratings (743)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Scott M. Baldwin (2)
No "discovery" to be made here....

housegeek23 (2.5)
Sometimes you have to take a second to breathe, before going any further. In this album, Daft Punk e...

Lemon8 (2)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Senor_Whippy
July 29th 2005



367 Comments


Whatever you say Daft Punk are starting to run out of ideas Yeah Homework was a classic but the new stuff is just weak

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
July 29th 2005



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This album has a lot of new ideas mixed in with old ideas. The only reason why this album doesn't work is that they rushed it.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
July 30th 2005



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ughh, the person who did the other Human After All review must have listed it as that. Human After All was released in 2005.

Iai
Emeritus
July 30th 2005



3553 Comments


That looks like the release date of Discovery to me.

Med57
Moderator
July 30th 2005



1001 Comments


Fixed. Nice review Dan, although I don't really like what I've heard off the album either.

"Freshly Baked"
March 11th 2006



583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's repetitive, even for Daft Punk. But a lot of people are making it out to be a piece of crap when it's not, it just doesnt hold a candle to Homework or Discovery, but then again, very few albums do...

I agree. 3.5

The sad thing is that if they spent a month or 2 longer on this, it would've been another slam dunk classic

EDIT:

Okay, upon further review, the ruling on the field is overturned, this album has completely grown on me, the only tracks the aren't that great are Television Rules The Nation, and Emotion

I absolutely love Prime Time OF Your Life and Make Love now, And I mean I love them like they could be on DIscovery or something.This Message Edited On 04.07.06

Mewt
May 3rd 2006



36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good Album.
Songs are catchy, but way to repetitive. Songs are like 3 minuets long and its the same beat the whole song..but good songs none the less.

gimo80
May 28th 2006



223 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Absolute cack. Okay, it's a beautifully written review, but Daft Punk have released a low budget, repetitive and rushed album that is just so boring. Instead of revealing more textures throughout the structures of the songs, the whole album is basically put on loop.

Not to mention The Brainwasher is quite possibly one of THE worst songs in history. I'm actually bloody upset about this album -_-

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
May 29th 2006



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

A flawed beast, yes. But I like to think there is enough surprises to keep me listening.

Human After All ranks up with Daft Punks other stunners. Robot Rock is repetitive, but is far from bad. Steam Machine is catchy. Make Love and Emotion feel incessantly fake, but strangely catchy. Television Rules the Nation is a pretty rocking tune, and Technologic is quite catchy.

It doesn't stand up to their other two superb studio albums, but I like it nonetheless. I'm disapointed, but I'm still happy with it.This Message Edited On 05.29.06

beau99
September 29th 2006



60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is excellent. It takes the robot approach from Discovery even further, but returns to the minimalist approach found on Homework.



Zebra
Moderator
November 5th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is a lot better then I originally thought it would be. Sure, the music is highly repetitive and the robotic synths can get a bit tiresome but there are some awesome songs such as the title track and "Steam Machine." I wouldn't give this a 3.5/5 because it gets old quick but this album is great for an occasional listen.

The Jungler
November 5th 2006



4827 Comments


I really can't see Robot Rock getting tiresome. That song is a classic.

Apocalyptic Raids
April 18th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The title track is awesome. Overall the album was better than I expected it to be, but it drags sometimes.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
April 20th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, pretty much.

Intransit
April 3rd 2008



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I picked this up used on a whim at the record store and I'm digging it pretty well. Some songs get a little obnoxious, but Human After All, Robot Rock, Television Rules the Nation, and even Make Love are all pretty great. I need to hear more Daft Punk obviously.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
December 1st 2008



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wow this was disappointing

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

fprock
February 17th 2009



68 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Technologic and Robot Rock rule.

krig9412
August 8th 2010



792 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why is there so much hate for this album? I heard Homework and Discovery before this and agree that they're better, but this is still an enjoyable record. Hell, The Brainwasher is one of my favorite songs. I guess the repetition annoys people, but I find it interesting. It could possibly stem from my love for Hardstyle sounds too

WhiteTieBlackJacket
January 14th 2011



785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I listen to this record all the time now. Its fabulous. If they could somehow mesh the beats of Human After All with the scores of the Tron Legacy soundtrack for their next record, I would probably die.

cjgone
March 27th 2011



763 Comments


Technologicccccc teeechnologiccccc



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy