Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Daft Punk, Discovery

Daft Punk are a duo from Paris who hit the dance bullseye in “Discovery” by combining a variety of old-school styles with modern studio techniques (circa 2001) and meticulous production.  “Discovery” is their second discoveryfull-length album. 

The CD opens with the infectious “One More Time” which is notable for it’s use of Auto-Tune as a creative instrument rather than as a sound correction device.  Auto-Tune is proprietary pitch-correction software that has aroused controversy for being the technology that serves as the basis for the “pitch-corrected bimbos” phenomenon.  “One More Time” features vocals by Romanthony that are mainly the phrases “one more time” “we’re gonna celebrate”, “don’t stop the dancing” “music’s got me felling so free” and “oh yeah” repeated endlessly in various combinations.  Auto-Tune is used to tweak and process every syllable of each phrase so that the voice never sounds quite the same way twice.  The sound of the voice ranges from a roboticized vocodor-like drone to something that sounds remarkably like Kool and the Gang’s J.T. Taylor on the word “celebration”.  It’s a slick piece of engineering and when combined with the track’s delicious groove it produced Daft Punk’s greatest commercial success to date.

“Discovery” partially avoids the monotony of many dance albums by mixing up many different styles of dance music rather than relying on tiny variations of one or two basic ideas throughout.  Daft Punk sometimes falls prey to dance music’s other monotony-producing technique of letting a rhythmic pattern go on for too many measures without much variation.  The most egregious example of this problem is the CD’s final track which at 10 minutes is at least 4 minutes longer than anything else on the disc and is titled “Too Long”.  Makes you think Daft Punk both recognize the problem and are having fun with it.

Rather than too much of the same thing, “Discovery’s” main problem is too little.  Tracks like “Aerodynamic”, “Night Vision”, “High Life” and “Superheroes” sound more like ideas for dance numbers, or in “Night Vision’s” case atmosphere pieces,  than fully developed tracks.  Given that four years passed between the release of Daft Punk’s first album and “Discovery” you’d think they would have been able to put more effort into developing a fully formed set of music.

“Discovery” is a solid set of dance music that has enough variety to retain interest throughout.  By updating some older dance styles with 2001-era production techniques it is likely to appeal to both back-in-the-day dancers and their kids.

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10/21/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

1 Comment »

  1. […] released singles, album tracks from their three studio albums “Homework”, “Discovery” and “Human After All”, and […]

    Pingback by Review: Daft Punk, Musique Vol. 1 1993 - 2005 « Tuned In To Music | 11/05/2007 | Reply


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