Friday, 19 April 2013

Track Review: Daft Punk - Get Lucky

There are few moments as a music fan turned audiophile where you're sitting: alone, anxious, apathetic to everything else going on in your seemingly inept human life, where your only focus is on finally experiencing the drop of a new track you've been counting down the hours towards. The last 24 hours waiting for Daft Punk's first new material in three years - and first album single in eight years more importantly - have been agonizing. Forced to replay the sixty second Coachella promo video (said video already racking up over three million views in under the space of a week) over and over again, the buzz and excitement for the [radio edit] song to finally reveal itself in full start-to-finish form, has never faded. With rumors about promo singles being shipped in armored containers, radio stations claiming they'll be the first (in the World) to play the song, and numerous shenanigans with fake leaks and remixes running amok on the internet, it's been an interesting - frustrating yes, but not so much to dampen the mood - period of time when pandering the web shows people trying desperately to look up radio streams from as far as New Zealand and the Netherlands. And in this dark, synthesized-lighting of early morning, we at last have the remix, no fake demo reel, no [un]funny practical jokes praying on listener's desperation. Get Lucky, or rather a four minute edit for radio ears, has made itself be heard.

So while I come to this track having a fairly rapturous estimation as to how the music will pan out content-wise, that doesn't distract what is still a fresh, open and curious honesty about what kind of emotions and levels of visualization my human ears will leave me filled with. And the result is nothing short of magnificent. Straight from the off; the funked-up guitar strums, the smoothly-transient bass, it's clear this is a track made for the moment and shows Daft Punk as a duo not fussed with technical over-indulgence. Instead, the feeling is one of getting straight into the scene; this lavish, 80s-esque glitter of disco flare and soulful piano nestling in the backdrop. And as we'd been presented on the preview offerings, Pharrell Williams' vocals are as much soulful in their intention as they are clearly in cue with the music's polished groove. Polished too is how best describes the more crucial components to this track - the drums crisply textured and balanced amid the rhythms. 

Admittedly however, it does come as a bizarre moment when the closing snippets offer a more wildly seductive guitar that comes flowing into the mix. Listening to it, having been content with Daft Punk's looped momentum of rhythm and sound before it, there's no turning away from the niggling feeling that perhaps this latter guitar could - and should - have been looked into more (it's important to note, again, that this release cuts two minutes off its full who knows what the album variant might later reveal). And yes, to take this track and brutishly compare it against the French duo's past discography, shows them moving away from the conventional electronica house of previous. Synthesizers are replaced by guitars; heavy beats replaced by passionate drum hits. This is certainly not of the Homework or even the Human After All foundry.

What this is though, and ultimately what leaves me coming away from this track with more a beneficial looking-forward than a cautious one-step-at-time motion (which arguably, could begin to increase later down the line), is how this takes me back to the days of Discovery. To the time when I was less than half my age and my experiences with that album were one of unimaginable nostalgia of the past, and kindled fondness of the [at the time] present. Get Lucky, much like Daft Punk's 2001 masterpiece, colours itself amid this youthful surge of joy and care-free innocence, that from my stand-point my feelings becomes less this cold, analytical critique of its musical content, and more a rekindling of past times and past joys. Daft Punk have mentioned in interviews their love for the 70's/80's musical period, and so too - if you're the type to read further into lyrics - this could be the first phase in the duo's long-lost talent for simple-but-effective repetition. Not that Human After All was bad, let me make that point clear. Rather, it feels more a return to the philosophy Discovery did so well in focusing on: embracing the past to relish the present. Get Lucky may not be the most diverse song, but if it's alluded us to anything regarding what Random Access Memories might offer, it's that the emotional experiences of music far outweigh the stern analyses of it. Whether in stores or online, make sure to check this track out.

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