Calling it "The most anticipated album of the decade" doesn’t overplay the buzz, mania and pandemonium around ‘Random Access Memories’. Although it’s mostly been the dance world chomping at the bit, this isn’t a dance album in the strictest sense: Tom and Guy-man have made music not from samples but have hand-picked a dream team of musical pioneers to create an album of sun-drenched West Coast grooves filled with 70s-sounding guitars, live drums and themes of love and losing yourself to music.
That’s not to say it shuns electronic sounds; the vocoders are still set to stun, the (specially made) synths are never far away and sci-fi space noises bobble on a scattering of tracks. But the urgency has been replaced by a relaxed pace, with most tracks fading out still in flow. ‘Give Life Back to Music’ is the cheeky (and Chic-y) opener, ‘The Game Of Love’ is a tale of robot melancholy with fat drums and organs, while the epic ‘Motherboard’ is all flutes, crisp percussion and Sebastian Tellier-like whimsy. You already know and love the optimistic disco funk of ‘Get Lucky’, here in a full six minute version, while one of the shortest tracks on the album is also one of the most poignant: ‘Within’ starts with a lone piano while lyrics question the idea of self. ‘Giorgio By Moroder’ features Giorgio himself narrating his history in music as meandering disco synths surge with huge strings and jazzy wig-outs.
There are a handful of big tracks like ‘Touch’ (a marvellously OTT ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’-esque five-parter with ‘Shaft’-like guitars, horn sections and a child choir) and closer ‘Contact’ which goes from an astronaut describing something ‘out there’ to organs, drum solos and a crescendo that hits you at light speed. With only a couple of uninspiring tracks, this is an ambitious game-changer that’ll leave you with a renewed optimism about the future of music.
File under Guitars, vocoders and a lot of surprises
Download ‘Within’, ‘Giorgio By Moroder’, ‘The Game Of Love’
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