CLINTON on 17th May 2013
I sometimes think we at Norman Records live in a parallel musical universe to the mainstream movers and shakers. So many albums praised to the hilt elsewhere get very short shrift among our ears. And I know you won’t believe me when we say we are NOT music snobs...well, not much.
It’s happening time and time again, Vampire Weekend last week, The National this. I remember my pre-record store working days before I was lucky enough to hear records before they came out; pre-internet, pre-Radio 6, when you had to take the word of the scribes, and the amount of records I sold months after buying, desperately disappointed that the music did not live up to the hype. This is why, despite one of our main aims of bringing you the underground music that can’t afford to pay for generating hype, we must continue to give you honest appraisals of the ‘big’ releases because...basically...no-one else will.
I have so little interest in Daft Punk that they barely pass by my musical radar. Over the past month or so, I keep noting excited postings on Facebook about their new album, possibly sponsored by the Sony corporation. It’s difficult to see how Daft Punk have made it to the level they are at, their last couple of albums weren’t particularly critically praised but now after the regulation five year gap they are being talked of as legends. Opener ‘Give Life Back to Music’ is a plasticy Chic impersonation with horrid vocoder slathered over. The same vocoder irritates ‘The Game of Love’ which otherwise is a sleek, disco weeper with some gorgeous descending keys. It’s safe to say that if, like me, you hate vocoder, you are going to struggle.
‘Giorgio by Moroder’ samples the great man,yet the irony is that when Moroder originally came along he made music that sounded like nothing else. It was genuinely futuristic, sexy and slightly scary, but the track that follows is a sleek interpretation of ‘Magic Fly’ by Space. The raft of collaborators is impressive - Julian Casablancas, Pharrell Williams, Panda Bear, Nile Rodgers - the most obvious influence is that of the latter. The sleek, Chic grooves are everywhere and thumping single ‘Get Lucky’ is genuinely brilliantly catchy, you’ll have heard it...well...everywhere already. Yet it magnifies the thought rolling around my head. There isn’t that much difference between Daft Punk and Jamiroquai. Both authentically steal music from the late part of the ‘70s, often to the point of near plagiarism. Yet one is the future of music and the other a twat in a hat. It’s a funny old (hype driven) world.