Review: You might have heard about this LP..... After a pre-release campaign that took on Hollywood-esque proportions, French pair Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter return as Daft Punk with their fourth studio album Random Access Memories sporting a A-list cast of guests and contributors. Given the input of disco icons Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rogers it's entirely understandable that the overbearing sound on Random Access Memories is one of classic disco with lead single "Get Lucky" a good indicator for what to expect. There's also a smattering of yacht rock within the thirteen track set, whilst the ubiquitous Panda Bear turns up on the midnight stutter funk album highlight "Doin' It Right". Those expecting a return to Daft Punk's Homework heyday will be disappointed but Bangalter and de Homem-Christo are touching forty so the polished, expertly constructed disco direction makes perfect sense.
Review: It's the first album in eleven years from Jason Lytle and his unique outfit, whose penchant for narcotic melancholy and dystopian disquiet - yet always couched in rich and rewarding songcraft, has lost none of its lustre and otherworldly charm in the near twenty years since their debut. The strange meld of homespun and alt-country tinged reflection and technological fear, indeed, has scarcely sounded more relevant than the here and now, making 'Last Place' - aided and abetted by the always excellent production work of Danger Mouse - rather more than a comfortable listen from a familiar force, more a rewarding transmission from a band always curiously out of time and place.
Review: Six years ago, an iconic and emotional concert at Madison Square Gardens marked the end of LCD Soundsystem. The accompanying documentary 'Shut Up and Play The Hits' delved into frontman James Murphy's reasons for the decision, with self-examination, a need for change and a fear of old age playing a part. Fast forward to 2017, and the surprise release of three singles accompanying the announcement of a comeback album triggers anticipation and a sigh of relief from fans everywhere. 'American Dream' meets expectations and at times surpasses them, with the familiar driving disco rhythms, strutting funk basslines and heartfelt morning-after-the-night-before ballads feeling like a well-needed catch up with an old friend. The current musical, social and political climates provide Murphy with platforms for his self-effacing and acerbic witticisms. This strong return to form was needed now perhaps more than ever, but simultaneously feels like they never left in the first place.