Daft Punk – Digital Love (Virgin, 2000)
This review originally appeared as part of The Stylus Decade, January 2010.
Its narrative plays out as a dream sequence: emerging from slumber at the start of the track, and retreating to it at the end. During the introductory vocal section, the dreamer recalls his dream, willing it into life. Behind him, the music sounds inside-out: a negative image of the dance track you’re itching for it to become. A curling Pepperland trumpet enters, escorting you to the threshold. The bass thump kicks in, there’s an explosion of colour—and then you’re off and away, spinning around in a world beyond language, jumping from bridge to bridge, dipping into the calm waters of a Supertramp piano figure, then spiralling skywards with a Frampton-esque talk-box cadenza. As the freak-out peaks, you’re turning somersaults in the clouds, freed from accepted notions of good taste—or at least, the notions of good taste which prevailed in 2001, before the widespread aesthetic rehabilitation of soft-rock and symphonic pop. Daft Punk might have had a quiet decade thereafter—but for helping to remove guilt’s hold over pleasure, we should salute them.