THE hype machine has gone into overdrive on this, French duo Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter’s first album since 2005’s Human After All and the follow-up proper to 2001’s truly groundbreaking Discovery.
The anticipation is understandable, given that Discovery is one of those albums that really did have a seismic effect on the music scene. Most of the dance and pop music made since owes it an enormous debt.
So has Random Access Memories been worth the wait? Without question, but trying to describe it brings to mind the comment that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” It pulls off the impressive trick of simultaneously sounding like absolutely everything and nothing else on earth.
Record-breaking single Get Lucky, featuring Pharrell Williams and Chic kingpin Nile Rodgers’ trademark guitar, magnificently harks back to the disco era – as does another Pharrell-starring track, Lose Yourself to Dance.
Opener Give Life Back to Music put a spring in my step on a wet Wednesday morning walk to work with its elastic electronic bassline, The Game of Love showcases the duo’s often-overlooked way with a gorgeous melody, and Instant Crush – with Julian Casablancas on lead vocals – is the best track to feature the Strokes’ singer since the days of Is This It.
Touch, meanwhile, defies description, starting off like early Roxy Music, careering from one style into another before another beautiful melody emerges from nowhere like a warm duvet.
Ultimately, it’s dance music for pop fans, pop music for dance music fans and fabulous music for everybody. I’d go out and buy a copy if I were you.