Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Daft Punk

  • Homework [Virgin, 1997] Choice Cuts
  • Discovery [Virgin, 2001] C+
  • Alive 1997 [Virgin, 2001] Dud
  • Human After All [Virgin, 2005] Dud
  • Alive 2007 [Virgin, 2007] A-
  • Random Access Memories [Columbia, 2013] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Homework [Virgin, 1997]
"Da Funk" Choice Cuts

Discovery [Virgin, 2001]
These guys are so French I want to force-feed them and cut out their livers. Young moderns who've made the Detroit-Berlin adjustment may find their squelchy synth sounds humanistic; young moderns whose asses sport parallel ports may dance till they crash. But Yank fun is much less spirituel, so that God bless America, "One More Time" is merely an annoying novelty stateside. The way our butts plug in, there are better beats on the damn Jadakiss CD. C+

Alive 1997 [Virgin, 2001] Dud

Human After All [Virgin, 2005] Dud

Alive 2007 [Virgin, 2007]
Wondering how I'd missed these guys, I replayed Discovery, which I'd panned hard in 2001, and enjoyed the hooks recycled here more than I did at the time. But, sonically, I still couldn't take it. I believe the tour was awesome--the videos prove it. But they also suggest why the band chooses not to DVD its world conquest--too much scale, flesh and bodily effluvia would be lost. Better this big fat earworm, which translates crowd noises into music and establishes how much bigger the band's electronics got when put to the arena-rock test. Deconstructing and recontextualizing their tune stock "mais oui," these robot wannabes bathed the unwashed in the blood of the synthesizer, broadening and lowering sounds that in their original substantiations owe not just Detroit techno but Ramada Inn lounge. Humanistic after all. A-

Random Access Memories [Columbia, 2013]
The Black Eyed Peas they ain't ("Lose Yourself to Dance," "Get Lucky") *