Discovery is the second studio album by the French electronic duo Daft Punk, released on March 12, 2001.
Moving away from the harder Chicago-style house of their debut album, Homework, Discovery marked a shift towards a cleaner sound that was largely influenced by '70s funk, R&B and disco, as well as a futuristic aesthetic evocative of outer space that contrasted Homework's rough urban feel. The album's rollout also saw the introduction of the duo's now-iconic robot costumes, which came with a story that they had become robots as a result of their studio exploding while they were working on a sampler on September 9, 1999 at 9:09 AM.
Like Homework, this album made extensive use of sampling, albeit in more experimental ways. On top of creating new music with the samples, many of the tracks contain additional parts that were written and performed to them, and in some cases sequence incredibly short sound clips together to form new melodies in a manner akin to Todd Edwards' "micro-sampling" technique (with Edwards fittingly co-producing one of the album's tracks, "Face to Face").
The album's liner notes list only four cleared samples, but the Internet has found or claimed to have found more uncredited ones, some of them taking years to deduce due to the aforementioned "micro-sampling" technique making the original tracks unrecognizable. While Thomas Bangalter, one half of the duo, stated that half the samples he saw associated with the album online were untrue, a sample long unconfirmed but heavily circulated and accepted as fact — the sampling of Eddie Johns' "More Spell On You" for "One More Time" — was finally verified following the band's breakup in 2021note .
The album was later used as the soundtrack to the anime film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, directed by famed creator Leiji Matsumoto. All of the music videos of Discovery are clips of the film, which details a band of extraterrestrials who are kidnapped and brainwashed to become rock stars on Earth. Footage from the movie were adapted as promotional videos for the first four tracks, which were released consecutively as singles.
- "One More Time" - 5:20
- "Aerodynamic" - 3:27
- "Digital Love" - 4:58
- "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" - 3:45
- "Crescendolls" - 3:31
- "Nightvision" - 1:44
- "Superheroes" - 3:57
- "High Life" - 3:22
- "Something About Us" - 3:51
- "Voyager" - 3:47
- "Veridis Quo" 5:44
- "Short Circuit" 3:26
- "Face to Face" - 3:58
- "Too Long" - 10:00
Discover these tropes:
- Alliterative Title: "Face To Face".
- Animated Music Video: All of the music videos show a segment of the film Interstella 5555, which played in order of album tracklist present a unified narrative about an alien band being kidnapped and brainwashed to become rock stars on Earth.
- Canis Latinicus: "Veridis Quo" —> "Very Disco" —> (flip) —> "Discovery"
- Dance Party Ending: Inverted with "One More Time", which begins the album.One more time, we're gonna celebrate
- Double Entendre: "Too Long" seems like a self-deprecating jab at the song's ten-minute length, but the lyrics could also be interpreted as describing something else that's long...
- Dying Declaration of Love: "Something About Us". Doubly so with its use in Interstella 5555.
- Epic Rocking: The ten-minute album closer, aptly named "Too Long."
- Fading into the Next Song: Discovery has only a few noticeable song breaks throughout the entire album. (Incidentally, a remix of "Aerodynamic" on the album Daft Club, "Aerodynamic (Daft Punk Remix)", though not an example but likely meant to take this further, takes the lyrics of "One More Time" and adds them to "Aerodynamic," with the two having been examples of the previously mentioned trope originally.)
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: "Aerodynamic" begins with a set of ominous bells, and the bells come back later in the song.
- Fun with Homophones: "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" plays with the "hour/our" homophone by blurring the phrases "Hour after hour" and "our work in never over" together between lines. As if a preview, the open lines, emphasizing one word at a time, repeat "(H)our, (H)our".
- Lampshade Hanging: The longest track on the album, clocking in at exactly ten minutes, is titled "Too Long."
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the fast-paced, pumping Chicago house style of Homework, Discovery is much more melodic and influenced by funk, disco, synthpop and 70s' pop rock.
- Limited Lyrics Song: "Harder Better Faster Stronger" has a four-line refrain (that already has repeated or similar-sounding words), and all other lyrics are repeating the first or second half with some words taken out.Work it harder, Make it better
Do it faster, Makes us stronger
More than ever, Hour after hour
Work is never over
- Longest Song Goes Last: The album closes with "Too Long" (10:00).
- Minimalistic Cover Art: Pictured above is the album cover, a simple chrome-embossed Daft Punk logo against a black background.
- One-Word Title: Discovery, the album title, and also the tracks "Aerodynamic," "Crescendolls," "Nightvision," "Superheroes" and "Voyager."
- Portmantitle: "Crescendolls" (crescendo + dolls).
- Pun-Based Title: Disco? Very.
- Sampling: Daft Punk makes liberal use of sampling in Discovery, mainly borrowed from '70s funk and disco, as confirmed in the album liner notes.
- The horn section from "More Spell on You" by Eddie Johns was sampled in "One More Time."
- Part of George Duke's "I Love You More" was sampled in "Digital Love."
- Edwin Birdsong's "Cola Bottle Baby" was sampled in "Harder Better Faster Stronger."
- The Imperials song "Can You Imagine" was sampled in "Crescendolls."
- Barry Manilow's "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed" was sampled in "Superheroes."
- Word Of God is that they were actually "fake samples" created specifically for the album. Several other songs are speculated to have been sampled and have been listed as such on several websites, but
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Nightvision," which serves as an eerie ambient interlude of sorts.