In the New Yorker, Sasha Frere-Jones on Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories":
Daft Punk’s fourth studio album, “Random Access Memories,” is an attempt to make the kind of disco record that they sampled so heavily for “Discovery.” As such, it serves as a tribute to those who came before them and as a direct rebuke to much of what they’ve spawned. Only intermittently electronic in nature, and depending largely on live musicians, it is extremely ambitious, and as variable in quality as any popular album you will hear this year. Noodly jazz fusion instrumentals? Absolutely. Soggy poetry and kid choirs? Yes, please. Clichés that a B-list teen-pop writer would discard? Bring it on. The duo has become so good at making records that I replay parts of “Random Access Memories” repeatedly while simultaneously thinking it is some of the worst music I’ve ever heard. Daft Punk engages the sound and the surface of music so lovingly that all seventy-five loony minutes of “Random Access Memories” feel fantastic, even when you are hearing music you might never seek out. This record raises a radical question: Does good music need to be good?"Back to Earth: Daft Punk's puzzling new album." (New Yorker)
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Amazon)
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David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.