“Random Access Memories” is easily my favourite Daft Punk album, and it’s probably up there as one of the best records of the 2010’s for me. I love the way it infuses all sorts of genres, from jazz to big-band to classic electronica, and the experience as a whole is nothing short of a perfect album.
All that being said … why the heck has everyone forgotten about it?!? It seems to have majorly flown under the radar nowadays, and it’s almost as if this banger of an album has been erased from the face of the earth. Hopefully one day it makes a resurgence, even if the band themselves aren’t going to be around anymore. How would I rank all of these songs?
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13 – Beyond
I very nearly put every song on this album in the “Good” tier, as they all do a fine job adding to the overall sound and concept, but I have to admit that there were definitely a couple that I was most likely to skip past.
“Beyond” starts as an overly dramatic film soundtrack, before suddenly snapping to a smooth jazz track. Completely acceptable and listenable, but not the most interesting track.
12 – Motherboard
“Motherboard” is a really cool exploration of sound, and the first few minutes were almost enough to put it in the “Good” tier.
It drags on for a bit too long, unfortunately, and the basic ideas are never expanded upon too much. There are some slight changes near the end, but it almost sounds like a cliché electronic track in the final few minutes.
11 – Contact
The final song on the album, “Contact” does a great job of emphasising the themes of the album, and leaves us on a fun, electronic note.
That being said, I would have liked a bit more oomph to my finale. It’s definitely more bombastic than some of the other pure electronic songs on the album, but it lacks the drama of some of the better tracks.
10 – Within
My least favourite vocal song on the album, I just find the robotic voice to be so hilariously out of place on a ballad like this.
Part of me quite likes the synthetic voice, though, as if it’s a robot trying to comprehend what it means to love. Still, a bit weird all things considered.
9 – Fragments of Time
I think “Fragments of Time” could have been a hit if it was handled a bit better, but it comes off a bit filler in between all of the other classics.
The vocal line is fine, and the instrumentals are as smooth and jazzy as ever, but I guess I just wanted a bit more from it all.
8 – The Game of Love
A little bit like with “Within”, the synthetic voice can be a little off-putting at first, but I actually think it works a lot better on “The Game of Love”.
It’s a more mellow track after the energetic opening, and it clues the listener into the fact that this album will deal with all sorts of tones and genres. Add to that a funky bassline and excellent guitar work and you have a pretty great song.
7 – Instant Crush
“Instant Crush” was one of the biggest hits off the album, and while I’m not completely sold on it I can appreciate it for the great dance bop it is.
The verses are a little slow and boring, but the choruses more than make up for it with a sudden burst of energy.
6 – Doin’ It Right
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for “Doin’ It Right”, as while it has no right to be as good as it is it somehow resonates with me.
I guess the fundamental groove is just so danceable to me, and the combination of robotic and genuine vocals is a nice touch. It sounds a little like classic Daft Punk, which is maybe why I keep coming back to it.
5 – Give Life Back to Music
Part of the reason I love this album so much is that it wastes no time at all setting up the themes and sounds, and “Give Life Back to Music” is the perfect way to kickstart a record like this.
The guitar and bass work is already superb, and you can hear the jazz influences straight away. There’s also a decent amount of drama and bravado to the track that gives it a welcome kick.
4 – Lose Yourself to Dance
The lesser known Pharrell Williams collaboration on the album, but that doesn’t mean “Lose Yourself to Dance” doesn’t pack a punch.
It has one of the best rhythm sections on the album, and that bassline is sexy as hell. Nile Rogers’s guitar work is as exemplary as ever, and the tender vocals on top are the icing on the proverbial cake.
3 – Touch
The most ambitious song on the album, and for a time it was even my favourite track of them all.
It’s unbelievably long, and it crams the most unique ideas in to the point where it’s almost ridiculous how large in scope it is. That middle section after Paul Williams’s vocals might just be my favourite musical moment on the album, it’s just so uproariously fun.
2 – Giorgio by Moroder
Considered more of a meme song nowadays than an actual track, but I think people forget just how awesome “Giorgio by Moroder” really is.
It’s the best instrumental on the album, and every section of the song is sublime. The beat drop has become iconic nowadays, and for good reason – it’s one of the 2010’s definitive electronic moments, and it sets up the rest of the seven minutes of legendary music.
1 – Get Lucky
“Get Lucky” dominated the radio waves for months after its release, and I still hear it out and about in shops and in playlists to this day … and I never get tired of listening to it.
The funky bassline, drums and guitar will get you dancing before you even realise it, and Pharrell’s anthemic vocals will keep you coming back for more. Once Daft Punk’s vocals come in, “Get Lucky” has earned its legendary status, and the awesome outro puts a neat little bow on the whole magnificent thing.
Aaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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