Review: Daft Punk, Alive 2007
Opinion without evaluation like “This CD’s great!!!!! I love it!!!!” and “This band sucks! The singer sucks! The picture on the CD booklet sucks! Sucks, sucks sucks!” is useless. Opinions are like assholes – everyone has one and nobody is interested in yours. I understand this. But then again, sometimes you’re just having too good a time to care. This CD’s great!
Daft Punk’s “Alive 2007” flat out rocks. The CD captures a concert recorded in the Palais Omnisport in Paris on June 14, 2007. Daft Punk are Guy Manuel de Homem Christo and Thomas Bangalter, two Parisian DJs who have a deep understanding of what makes dance music work. They make rock influenced dance electronica that avoids almost every pitfall practitioners of this type of music usually fall into. They don’t overlay everything with a numbing, monotonous four-on-the-floor disco beat, they change rhythms, meters and beats constantly, they don’t equate high bpm with good dance music. And they know the power of bass. Do they ever know the power of bass. They can produce a monstrous bottom end which they use frequently but not constantly. When they crank it up it sounds like god is in the house. They also understand how to pace a show so that the audience gets off. The result of all of this is that “Alive 2007” is a nonstop party captured on disc. The audience is badly miked and they still sound like they’ve achieved liftoff. Of course they had lights and drugs in addition to the music. But still . . .
Thankfully Daft Punk have not succumbed to the record industry demand to record CDs so they sound good played back through earbuds in MP3 format (see The (Deteriorating) Sound of Music ). The band makes a huge sound and this is a CD that doesn’t begin to let you hear what it has to offer if you listen to it in a lossy compression format like MP3 or 4. The louder you play it, the better it sounds which can be a problem. The bass is so big that it’s going to smear and boom unmercifully unless you have a system that can control it. Our set up uses a digital room correction system to control the bass and with that in place the bottom end is incredible; crisp, tight, focused and immense. That brings up another problem with “Alive 2007”. You’re gonna turn it up and it’s gonna scare the neighbors.
The version of “Alive 2007” we got is a 2 disc special edition made in Holland that comes in a hardcover multipage booklet. The booklet is nothing but pictures of the gig. If you like that kind of thing, you’ll be happy. If not, it’s waste of paper and storage space. The second disc has about 9 minutes more music and a video that plays on your computer. The video is “Harder Better Faster Stronger” from the gig. The editor uses constant fast cuts so it’s hard to get a good look at too much of anything but the track is an especially good one and watching these two little guys in leather suits and dark whole-head helmets three quarters up a huge light pyramid boping to the beat while they play their machines is hilarious. The special edition is nice but not worth the additional cost in my opinion.
From the moment “Alive 2007” came into the house I’ve had a hard time getting it out of the CD player. It’s so much fun that the frequency of reviews here on Tuned In To Music has slowed down because I keep listening to this one and everything around the house takes longer because you just have to stop, turn it up even louder and dance. One more time. lol
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