Tuesday, 25 August 2009

2001: Discovery

It sure was. Though Daft Punk had already been heard around the world following Homework, this was when they seriously blew up. Though James Murphy hadn't yet claimed to be 'the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids', they'd certainly hit a level to justify that kind of boasting. And though it came with a new sound, sleek 'n' smooth enough that you couldn't turn on the television without hearing one of the songs advertising the new Picasso (or whatever), there was nothing sell-out about Discovery whatsoever.

It was simply the sound of a band in love with the pure, blissful pop-rock ballads of their youth, giving those already polished grooves an electronic once-over. I recall one writer saying that 'Digital Love' reminded them of a kids cartoon theme, which seems about right to me, because these songs sound like they've been around your whole life, each tune artifially created by robots in a French computer lab. I guess that's the idea of the whole look. It was only when I was listening to this album a few weeks ago, though, that it occurred to me: someone played that shred guitar; a real human sang those hypnotic (albeit heavily autotuned) vocals; and holy shit, a real pair of humans sat down and wrote these songs. That was when it dawned on me just how special Daft Punk are. And everyone, not least the rock kids who sold their guitars for turntables and synthesizers, continue to dance in agreement.

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