As one of music’s most recognizable acts and long running duos, Daft Punk’s discography is stacked with albums that need to be listened to again. In this article I however wanted to focus on my favorite album from them, Discovery which has slowly become part of my regular rotation. Discovery was released in February of managed to reach #23 on the U.S. Billboards charts and #1 in France (the duos’ home turf). Although it received mixed reviews at the time and only reached moderate success the album has managed to make a lasting impression on the musical landscape.
As Daft Punk’s second studio album it follows a loose structure of its songs, switching from a crunchy Funk sound to more traditional House music; even throwing some unexpected R&B in there just for good measure. Some reviewers might see its multiple themes as loose and unstructured, but I think this is what truly makes this album appealing to everyone. Although some songs were admittedly a little weaker, the multiple themes help keep the album fresh upon multiple listens. I know this because I listened to Discovery about 5 times getting ready for this review, not when the album served as the soundtrack to the accompany moving “Interstella”. Even with some weaker songs, the stronger tracks always gave me something to look forward to. I will always respect the diverse track listing this album offers as a testament of the wonders the duo can create.
Discovery offers two of Daft Punk's most recognizable songs: “One More Time” and “Harder. Better, Faster Stronger”. These 2 crunchy tunes stand a testament to the staying power this album offers. Despite being close to 20 years old both have managed to stay within the pop culture zeitgeist after all these years. As two of their most popular songs, I cannot deny that these songs straight up bang. I however like to think the album has other songs that need more attention than they currently get. As two of my most revisited songs I feel as though “Digital Love” and “Something About Us” are two of Daft Punk’s greatest songs, showing the duo's ability to bend genres completely smashing one's expectations. With their funky sound and soothing vocals most are shocked to find such melodic psychedelic jams coming from the duo Daft Punk. Some of their more traditional Dafty songs such as “Short Circuit” and “Aerodynamic” also deserve much love for their almost crazy sound scape that they currently do not get. Even with the chaotic nature of these songs I still somehow find myself nodding my head as I try to figure out how they made such a jumble of sounds an enjoyable hit.
Before the end of this review it would be a missed opportunity to not talk about Daft Punk’s crazy artistic choice to create a companion movie “Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5secret 5tar 5ystem” with this album. Not to be confused with it’s less funkier cousin: 2014 Matthew McCounuaghey movie “Interstellar”. Although the nomenclature of replacing the “S”’s with 5’s is very 2000’s and annoying I still respect the risk Daft Punk made by creating this project. The movie creates an early 2000 anime aesthetic using the album’s track listing as the soundtrack and sub-text of the craziness that daft punk made.
“Intestella ” follows a band only known as “The Cresendolls” a four piece alien band that gets abducted during their performance of “One More Time”, for their entire planet. Yeah that’s right guys this shit’s about aliens in a totally funky band. The band is brought back to earth and turned human by a possibly immortal businessman. The businessman forces them to play their hit alien songs for the public that are somehow already in English. Word of the band reaches a total alien space ranger badass who decides to chase the band to earth. Motivated for his love for the band’s female bass player Stella the alien ranger wastes no time following the band in his sweet guitar spaceship, at least after he’s done space vacuuming of course(he actually space vacuums). This ranger manages to save all the band members but not without being mortally injured. As Stella is the last one he saves he was able to share his love with Stella before passing.
After the rangers dies, the band find themselves in the forest mansion of the evil businessman who is running a cult to gain 5555 gold records (I wish I was making that up). The band pushes the man into a lava pit he has in his house for some reason. I would love to talk to the interior designer who pitched that. “The Cresendolls” are discovered to be aliens. Once discovered all of planet earth and NASA work hard to send the group back to their home planet. Eventually earth manages to send the aliens through a weird acid trip portal that brought them to earth in the first place. Once home the band immediately plays a live performance for their planet not even taking the time to do normal things like saying hi to their parents or using the bathroom.
The entire movie was a complete ride and hard to recommend to those who aren’t ready for it. I just respect the amount of balls and love that went into the making of this movie. It will definitely leave a lasting impression to all who have taken the time to view it. I could not resist reviewing this movie alongside the album. As an interesting way to listen to the album it is nice to see Daft Punk create this album as a recommended way to listen to Discovery.
Daft Punk’s Discovery has proven to stand the test of time as a funky diverse album that deserves another spin. The musical world seems to agree as the album has been featured everywhere from Kanye West’s song “Stronger” to the new “Trolls” movie. Although not their first album this album had set a great precedent for Daft Punk’s future success of the next decade. Let’s hope they manage to surprise us again with another album soon: and maybe… just maybe another bonkers anime movie to watch while REALLY high.