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Daft Punk's best music has always channelled disco's celebratory emotions, so when a snippet of a jaunty Nile Rodgers guitar line introduced the internet to the duo's fourth album, it felt like a rediscovery. Their last LP, Human After All, was oddly mechanical, and their Tron: Legacy soundtrack crushingly formulaic.
The rest of Random Access Memories lives up to the promise of Chic frontman Rodgers's riff in all sorts of surprising ways. Both a musical history lesson and a capital-P pop album, it eschews bedroom knob-twiddling for live instrumentation and warm, expansive analog production that pushes their obsession with ELO-style soft rock through their roboticized retro-futuristic filter.
It's pretty nervy for a current dance act to reproduce the big-budget quality of the early 80s so unapologetically (and accurately), but it's also satisfying. The songs' simple moods - at times sentimental, winsome and ecstatic - nicely play off the depth and obsessive detail in the music.
Top track: Lose Yourself To Dance