Daft Punk’s Expanded Trash

Last May, Daft Punk released the long-awaited Random Access Memories. It was an awful album. I wrote about how much I disliked it in that story, but here’s an excerpt:

This could’ve been an interesting change for Daft Punk, but it doesn’t work. Where their last full-length was pointed in criticism (Television Rules the Nation as one very on-the-nose example), this album is relaxed to the extreme. It has nothing to say, so it’ll let Giorgio Moroder ramble for a track. The first time that song came up, I thought I’d accidentally flipped to This American Life for a moment. That’s a bad sign for a dance record.

As a LP, it was overstuffed with guests and short on anything new to say. It recycled 70s disco cliches left and right, ranging from Niles Rogers guitar riffs to flashy suits. And only once or twice did it sound anything like the Daft Punk I remember enjoying. Anyway, the record did anything but flop: Get Lucky was on the charts all summer, along with fellow garbage peddler Robin Thicke, and now it’s getting the deluxe treatment, just in time for the holidays.

The expanded box costs something like $275 and is stuffed full of things nobody needs. There’s schematic designs for their costumes, a “saddle-stitched” booklet containing such lyrical gems as “we’re up all night to get lucky” and a 56-page book of photos of the recording session.

The whole thing just reeks of self-importance. Take the book. I haven’t seen any of the photos, but I’m positive all of them will have the duo in their dress-up costumes. It’s probably a little unwieldy to record while wearing a halloween costume, but they have an image to protect! After all, have you seen their faces recently? The whole sessions were probably one long photoshoot, where the famous stars popped in to record a sample and have some 8×10 glossies shot (knowing these French guys, with some 70s camera filter cranked to the max). Now you at home can look on in awe as two middle-aged French dudes sample records your parents heard on the radio!

The hits just keep on coming in this box! On a “reusable” (is there some other kind?) USB drive, there’s “high-resolution” audio files of the album, presented in 88.2KHz / 24 Bit sound (as opposed to the CD’s 44.1KHz / 16 Bit), because you know your audiophile friends need to hear Giorgio Moroder ramble in the best possible quality. And said friends will love the bonus LP with his extended interview! Better buy two, in case you wear the grooves out on that one.

The album itself is only presented on the lossless files and on two vinyl LPs, so I suppose you have still have to buy the CD version to listen to in the car. Thankfully, the album labels are gold and silver foil; if the economy collapses, you can always use them for currency!

The one thing this box is missing is new content. Included is their remix of Get Lucky. Okay, where’s the rest of the remixes they were working on? It includes an extended interview, but where are loose tracks like Horizon? What about outtakes: are there even any worth releasing? It’s worth pointing out that neither of the two singles from this album included a B-side.

The whole thing just reeks of hot trash. Like I said last May, Daft Punk’s ego has exploded to gargantuan proportions. Their self-important vanity is personified in their flashy suits, glittery helmets and shiny music. A box set that’s both this lavish and barren,  is a snotty laugh in the faces of their fans. Why should anyone plunk down their hard earned money on something so utterly devoid of value? Like their music, this set is little more than a ripoff. Not that I’d expect anything less from two robots.




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