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Music / Random Access Memories

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Let the music of your life, Give life back to music
Random Access Memories is is the fourth studio album by the veteran electronic music duo Daft Punk, released in 2013 after a lengthy hiatus from their third studio album Human After All. The album, rather than the French house of Homework and Discovery, is a Genre Throwback to 70s and 80s disco and funk. Production of the album involved a slew of guest vocalists and reduced electronic components; emphasis was on live instrumentation and vintage synths, leaving only drum machines and vocoders as the main electronic sounds of the album (and even then, live drumming was used on several songs anyway).

Upon release, Random Access Memories received widespread critical acclaim. Its number one hit, "Get Lucky", finally gave the band a legitimate American hit and paved the way for a series of further disco/funk influenced Top 40 hits from other artists, like Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (which unfortunately blocked "Get Lucky" from the top of the charts in America), Bruno Mars' "Treasure", Mark Ronson and Mars' "Uptown Funk", among others. It also gave Daft Punk five Grammy Awards, including the prestigious Album of the Year award.


I listened to your tropes, Now listen to mine:

  • Album Title Drop: Almost. "Fragments of Time" mentions "random memories".
  • Epic Rocking: "Giorgio by Moroder" and "Touch" from Random Access Memories are over 8 minutes long and go through several musical styles.
  • Genre Roulette: Random Access Memories, while listed as "Pop" on iTunes, toys around with many different genres and genre influences between songs. "Give Life Back to Music", "Lose Yourself to Dance" and "Get Lucky" are disco, while other songs like "Giorgio by Moroder" and "Contact" are more influenced by electronica, though with some live instrumentation. "Doin' it Right", and "Fragments of Time" fall squarely into soft rock, while "Instant Crush" is a more electronic take on the alternative rock music of singer Julian Casablacas in The Strokes. Their collaboration with Paul Williams, "Touch," is a roulette game by itself, mixing disco, pop, roadhouse piano, a children's choir, and sci-fi psychedelia.
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  • Genre Throwback: While Daft Punk have always toyed with this idea, Random Access Memories was the first time that they actually sounded like their heroes from The '70s. The album features Nile Rodgers of disco band Chic and Giorgio Moroder (disco producer most known for creating Donna Summer's best works). The session musicians used for the album were given music by Electric Light Orchestra, Supertramp and Michael McDonald as reference points, and it shows.
  • Homage: To the music of the late '70s and early '80s.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: The cover features both halves of the duo's robot helmets perfectly juxtaposed. Any worthy parody of it will also share the same design.
  • Lighter and Softer: Much softer and less sonically abrasive than Human After All.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Lose Yourself to Dance" repeats the same verse about 4 times over the course of the 6 minute song. Pharrel Williams is singing the lyrics, but Daft Punk adds some extra lines later into the song as background lyrics.
    I know you don't get a chance to take a break this often.
    I know your life is speeding, and it isn't stopping.
    Here, take my shirt and just go ahead and wipe off all the sweat. Sweat. SWEAT.
  • New Sound Album: A Genre Throwback to disco and the early days of electronic music, and features more live instruments and guest vocals instead of say, drum machines and vocoders only.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Instant Crush."
  • Sampling: Notably, the album in its entirety contains only one prominent sample during "Contact".note 
  • Spoken Word in Music: The autobiographical song "Giorgio by Moroder", in which Moroder himself speaks about his music career.


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