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DAFT PUNK Ė HUMAN AFTER ALL - EMI
Record Rating: ****

Daft Punk - Human After All - EMI Clubbers throughout the world know their classic club hit One More Time to their colorful anime graphical videos and of course their bubbly vocoderized disco-pop thatís made this French band the most popular thing to come out of France since pop star Vanessa Paradis.

2005's Human After All, is the latest studio effort from the highly creative French DJ duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo, who call themselves Daft Punk. Recorded over a brief six-week period late last year, itís another concept album from the boys; this time around itís supposed to be about how television is destroying society by turning us into robots. Rock, the album's first single is chockablock with stabbing metal guitar riffs effectively on top of electro-funk rhythms with squiggly synth melodies Ė and itís a hit already. Compared to other acts eager to push product in order to keep those rumps reverberating, the time period between their last release Discovery and this follow-up feels like an eternity.

A comparison between Daft Punk's first two albums made their evolution toward innovation obvious, one that was rare for most other artists in any genre. This new one feels very dark, angry and dehumanized. Call this a 9 track album, but there's ten if you count On/Off the rather pointless segue with someone flicking through TV stations and then deciding to turn it off. Discovery their last release contained some incredible club anthems, including One More Time and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. The stuff on this one makes that album sound positively last century. Things begin to get bizarre with songs like Brain Washer and the short but extremely quirky and experimental The Prime Time Of Your Life Ė but you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be at least one or two songs here that become club staples on this album.

I had high hopes for this album after the bandís previous great release. And at first listen it does sound good. The last album was loved because of its fresh and unique qualities, so this album is sure to disappoint some of their fans. In reality, Human After All is a modernish take on the classic 80ís new wave sound Ė still good for a couple of spins.

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