There was no way that wasn’t bound to happen. Random Access Memories is an album that has been marketed to perfection over the internet and was instantly doomed to be a disappoint to the denizens of the same internet; it’s a vicious world. That being said, the album is nowhere near bad, but for a Daft Punk record–and one as hyped as this one is–it’s painfully average.
An album chasing the past but not just the grand past worthy of nostalgia but the past that involves those nights when your mom would parade you around her friend and your relatives during one of her dinner parties. There are times when the album really works (“instant crush” and “get lucky” for example) and there are times when the album just seems to be “there”, kind of meandering about. Much like, Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, the album is pleasant and full of fine songs to tap your foot to but ultimately nothing jumps out. But, again, weren’t we all waiting on this inevitability. Believe it or not, the internet is full of snarky douches, contrarians and just plain assholes–sometimes all 3 (I know, I know. It surprises me too); so when it came time for everyone’s favorite cool kid duo to debut its latest record–and to do it in such dubious fashion–it pretty much started a countdown of “who could hate it the most”. Hype does nothing but dangle fish in front of sharks waiting to devour something and, short of fireworks shouting out of your computer and literally being ear-fucked, there was no way this Daft Punk album would survive.
The album is solid, but that’s not what people want from a Daft Punk record. They know what they’re capable of and they expect it every single time. Fine I guess, except they’re forgetting that every Daft Punk record is like this. Dividing of people and differentiating in tastes. And that’s fine by me; all I need is a solid record for summer enjoyment. Plus, I mean, what’s more punk than daring people to hate your shit all the time.