Rarely in music does a band contribute as much as this band has, while still maintaining a high level of secrecy in terms of how they conduct themselves. That’s just one of the things that makes Daft Punk, the French musicians who have redefined electronic music for millions of fans, so important. Seeing them three times during the groundbreaking “Alive’ tours of 2006 and 2007 are some of the best memories of my entire life, musical or not. Their contribution to modern music is incalculable, and most every electronic artist or band likely owes them a debt they can’t hope to pay off. Today’s Top ten list, Daft Punk.
10. Technologic, Human After All
The simplicity of the opening might fool some, but it’s this subtle thing that they do so well. They build, slowly but surely layer upon layers, embedding snaps, claps, and bleeps that would be lame if done incorrectly. “Buy it, Get it” and various other instructions fill the vocal range of the song, but it just continues to grow at a stubborn pace. The video in itself is super creepy. The images seen are of a de-skinned animatronic doll(rumored to be the Chucky doll from “Child’s Play) and all it has to do it sing the words to the song to unnerve even the most hardened of EDM kids. The song at it’s base might be minimal, but combined into one track, the effects are breathtaking and make you want to dance, much like the rest of this list.
9. Doin’ It Right, Random Access Memories
While the record was rumored, everyone was stoked, but news came out slowly. We all expected a traditional dance record. What we got was a completely different album, and although many of the songs had a disco feel to it, this one was in the vain of a progressive band. Having Panda Bear from the wildly eclectic Animal Collective sing vocals added a human element the band was attempting to bring into the album, and it made the song much, much stronger. It’s a mostly chill song, but the light drops of beats over the track make it a easy song to enjoy. It’s one of the better songs on the record, and hopefully people who hadn’t checked out Panda or A.C. were motivated to seek them out after hearing this great track.
8. Human After All, Human After All
A bass thumper for sure, the title track from their least critically acclaimed album finds us at number eight. Saying it was panned doesn’t mean the same to everyone, but to me, it’s almost irrelevant. The band tries new things all the time, so it’s natural that some things might be seen as missteps. While it’s not the strongest effort they ever produced, it’s by no means a bad record, much less a bad song. The beat is intense, and non stop throughout, and the vocals decrying their living status are the perfect expression in a non-complicated way. This is a track that even with little going on, makes it a funky track to dance the night away to.
7. Aerodynamic, Discovery
The hells bells, reminiscent of the AC-DC track, open the song, but it doesn’t take long before the whirlwind of the modern disco flavor fill your ears and you get lost in the track. One of the best songs used on the Alive tour, the track incorporates sickeningly fast beats, and guitar effects you simply don’t hear often in dance music. Few songs are as perfect for late night, strobe induced dance parties as this one, but you could easily fit this into any fun time. It’s also a great example of a band known for robot voices killing it instrumentally with no type of vocals whatsoever. The dip at the end leaves you in a cold shockwave of a system, but it doesn’t really matter, because you had fun getting there.
6. Around the World, Homework
More than likely one of the first exposures to huge pop culture that the band had, and even after all this time the song still holds up. Much of their music sounds alien and not of this world, but maybe that’s what people were drawn to. There simply isn’t a band quite like Daft Punk, and from their first album “Homework,” it was clear. The repetition of the song itself seems also forced, and implies that they are indeed going “Around the World” in a way they can’t control. It’s also one of the longer songs the band has released, but there are worse seven minute songs to be stuck listening to for sure.
5. Get Lucky, Random Access Memories
More than likely their most well known song(We’ll get to the other one in a bit), “Get Lucky” was and is a classic song. Almost from the first listen you’re hooked. using Pharrell on this song in particular was vital to the songs success, and he kills it. It has all the soul of a Gloria Gaynor track, but the modern sophistication not to seem played out. The elements they bring in here are impeccably used. Everything from the vocals, to the guitar and bass form a seamless, happy flow that brings the track to a very high level. Was there a better song the year it came out? I’m not sure, but it’s a great song, and the disco flavored vibe sprinkled throughout is testament that this band can do anything it chooses, and do it well.
4. Robot Rock, Human After All
The drums crashing to introduce the song, and before long we’re bouncing to the one and only theme song of the band, “Robot Rock.” This song opened the now legendary Coachella show, and having been there in person, it won’t ever leave my memory. The song is fucking killer, and it’s the best track on this highly underrated album. This is a song that doesn’t need much to succeed, and kills it at every opportunity. I could listen to this all day long, and have been known to repeat it more than once. Also the usage of this in Iron Man 2 was hilarious, and perfect. Probably their heaviest song, Robot Rock is not a force you want to come into contact with if you're not prepared to rock, uh, like a robot.
3. Da Funk, Homework
Hearing the traffic and street songs initially make me think of the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” video in the way that you imagine a person walking down the street on a normal day. Except it’s not a normal day, because the crowd slowly is forming into a giant dance troupe to bring the song to the masses. Not that I don’t like the very bizarre proper video(I do very much), but the song to me is the beat of a dance oriented people who aren’t content unless dance is happening. Another example of a great instrumental song, “Da Funk” brings you from the street to the dancefloor using precise beats and arrangements, adding thumps, hammers and power as they see fit.
2. One More Time, Discovery
Although not the number one selection, this song has done more for the band than any other track. It’s been sampled repeatedly by lesser dj’s, and used in a variety of ways. All of these ways only help to cement DP’s legacy not only as an important band in any genre, but as purveyors of the perfect electronic beat. Even if you don’t know who Daft Punk is, you’ve heard this song. The vocals bring a level of positivity to the table in ways you can’t measure, and overall the song is a celebration of the process of life, and taking every day as it comes, and making the most of all of it, good or bad. The jingles throughout, coupled with the soft tones and energetic horns make the song one of the best dance tracks ever, and it will still be being played for years after we’re all dead and gone. We’re gonna celebrate!
1. Digital Love, Discovery
The feeling of warmth and love flutter all over the song, and the lovely and cute lyrics only make it better. The band hardly has any songs that are this straightforward and wordy, but that’s what sets the song apart from the others. While other songs have minimal lyrics, “Digital Love” has plenty, and it only helps the song reach deeper. This song will be part of my life forever, and I’ll never hear it without thinking of enjoying it with my friends and loved ones. The explosion of sound at the climax brings the track to a height it hadn’t reached, and propels it to the gorgeous ending it deserves. “Digital Love” remains the bands’ best track, and for anyone who is in love with someone, an example of why “Music Sounds better with You.” Thanks for reading!
Landon Murray is a New Orleans native, who thrives on painting the world he interprets through the useful forms of all types of art he feels connected to. He's seen over 1000 bands, and had loved mostly every minute of it. He has an amazing 10 year old dog, and is loving life.
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