And...now the culture side of the blog, in a desperate hope to emulate my bloggin' heros a la Simon Reynolds Woebot etc..I present a review of Daft Punk's 'Human After All':
My first impression of the album was good. Human After All seemed a continuation of Discovery's general sound and vibe with vocoders draped over the pleasantly simple rock style drum pattern, with Daft Punk undermining their robot schtick in a Kraftwerkian stylee. 80's influences are ever-present in both programming and the use of rough analog 80's synths and guitars.
Prime Time of Your Life continues the same general style voices vocoded and general hissy home recorded feel to the track. As with the first track it seems to have a sketchy at best relationship with house music only really getting going towards the end of the track. But unlike the first track I felt that it was lacking something and it seemed half finished.
Robot Rock, in short love this track absolute dancefloor killa even if it is based on a Breakwater guitar loop. However Daft Punk use it well remorselessly repeating moving your ass so that your mind will follow. This one will remix well, and appear on a million BBC ads.... So this track raised my hopes again and I eagerly flicked foward to the next track:
Steam Machine: another okish track simple and loop based again . Also like Prime Time of Your Life it felt unfinished more of a sketch than the finished article. Sonically it hinges round the repetition of the title and dissapointingly the same synth sound, which seems to back up the idea that they knocked off this album very quickly compared to Discovery. Drum programming is yet again fairly simple and uses traditional 808 electro style sounds nothing special or particuarly amazing there I'm afraid.
Make Love: This track is truly excellent and shows how Daft Punk manage to make repetition and simple vocal refrain beautiful and moving. It particuarly reminds me of Larry Heard's early material and Deep Dish. Yet another track that you will used and abused by TV producers the world over.
The Brainwasher: This track truly lives up to it's title, a deaf dumb and mute kickdrum pounds away relentlessly as Daft Punk pronounce themselves brainwashers! The main riff kicks in and you really can't argue with them... This track is designed for maximum destructive impact within a dank dark and sweaty club at 3am in the morning, fear this track for it is a DJ weapon aimed directly at your cerebellum!
On/Off: ladeez and gentlemen..the intermission
Television Rules the Nation: Vocoders are firmly back in saddle on this track. One of the more housey numbers of the album with the use of standard 4/4 kick n' clap topped of with the use of AC/DC style filtered guitars. A good track in my opinion solid without being anything extraordinary.
Technologic: Mixed feelings about this track, starts with a nice looped vocal and I love the old skool drum programming that kicks in a few seconds later. However the bass line is a tad dissappointing I really wish they'd managed to find a new preset on their synth by the ninth track.
Emotion: Really this does nothing for me, I don't jknow if Daft Punk were being 'ironic' with the naming of this track but it seems nothing of a nothingness to me. It plods, and that is not what I expect Daft Punk to do even on their slower tracks. Tired sounds matched to a tired beat do not a good ending of an album make!
Generally I felt let down with this album it feels unfinished and I know they are capable of so much more. Daft Punk have made a middling to good album when they are capable of making a great album.