Human After All

  • Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Mar 15, 2005
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. Portraying the state of pop as a series of predictable formulae long since exhausted by corporate superstructure, Human After All more than lives up to its name, rendering a metaphor for failure on the grandest yet simultaneously most personal of terms.
  2. The end result on Human is structurally and technically impressive, though at times aesthetically more curious than intriguing.
  3. With “Human After All” the pair are running both on the spot and out of ideas. In making an album comprised of nothing but their stylistic tics – the over-used Vocoder/pitch bender, the monstrously compressed acid squelches, the crunchy, rock guitar motifs – Daft Punk are like a celebrity chef who serves up nothing but his signature dish. Soon, you’ll stop eating in his restaurant.
  4. Inexplicably, predictably, Daft Punk have become the first band to produce a retro post-parody of their own work.
  5. Whether or not Human After All - which of course, has not a single purely human voice in its midst - is supposed to be some great stroke of pop irony or self-reflexive wink is irrelevant. Boring, empty music that thinks it’s making a point is condescending and pedantic.
  6. Where the weight of expectation and precedence get to have a say, this feels like not just a failure, but a heartbreaker.
  7. Human After All ends up being just not-bad (a first for Daft Punk); that may be hard to accept for fans that demand nothing less than brilliance from them, but just because it isn't an instant classic doesn't mean that it's totally unworthy, either.
  8. It's not a massive progression from their debut, and it appears that as the rest of the world has finally caught up with them, the duo from space appear to be having problems going forward.
  9. Daft Punk may have become the victim of their own animatronic satire.
  10. Too much of it is straightforward four-to-the-floor anodynity, and a number of tracks run out of ideas almost immediately, explore touchstones they've caressed more inspiringly before or, worse, do both.
  11. Daft Punk have released an album so bland and repetitive that it may actually call into question all their past glory. It doesn't seem fathomable, but alas, the proof is seemingly inscribed in each note.
  12. Apparently knocked off in just six weeks, Daft Punk's third album sounds like it took six days. Six short days. With long lunches.
  13. It’s official: The robots have won.
  14. On the whole, Human sounds guided by instructions as much as inspiration.
  15. It doesn't always make for an enjoyable listening experience, on or off the dancefloor.
  16. Human After All is determinedly monochromatic aurally, compositionally, and mood-wise. Gosh, they really are robots--the music is flat, barely inflected, sitting there like a vending machine waiting patiently for your quarters.
  17. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    There's a squelchy warmth at the heart of 'Human After All' that's been well masked since their arrival. [19 Mar 2005, p.59]
  18. Under The Radar
    30
    The snarky, ironic title only seems to poke fun at what is Daft Punk's most programmed and artificial album to date, and this is just a part of what feels like an all in-joke record. [#9]
  19. Mojo
    80
    Some of it is tough and unforgiving... and some is pure pop plastique. [Apr 2005, p.89]
  20. Uncut
    80
    It has everything you've come to expect from a Daft Punk album--innovation, cracking tunes, a palpable sense of its own absurdity--but this time the whole shebang's cranked up to 11. [Apr 2005, p.99]
  21. Alternative Press
    80
    Not as overtly catchy (or cheesy) as Discovery, Human After All nonetheless is a hilariously cold and mechanical work that makes Kraftwerk sound like Curtis Mayfield. [May 2005, p.138]
  22. Paste Magazine
    60
    Thematically, it's stale and preachy, but few capture mechanized emotion like Daft Punk. [Apr/May 2005, p.142]
  23. Blender
    50
    Feels desultory and numb, verging on autistic. [Apr 2005, p.116]
  24. Urb
    40
    It's hard to explain the mindless metal riffing that weighs down this completely disappointing album. [May 2005, p.84]
  25. Q Magazine
    40
    The robots were more fun. [Apr 2005, p.118]
  26. Entertainment Weekly
    50
    Dominated by overly repetitive, lumbering throwaways. [18 Mar 2005, p.68]
  27. Spin
    42
    Where 2001's Discovery coyly gene-spliced cock rock and New York garage, Human merely cuts and pastes. [Apr 2005, p.105]
  28. Magnet
    70
    The album's most human aspect is its contradictory nature, an ultimate lack of emotion that make the exhilarating Homework and the sentimental Discovery so accessible. [#67, p.90]
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 198 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 85
  2. Negative: 11 out of 85
  1. Stafford
    Feb 21, 2007
    10
    This album is a bit of shameful point for me. Rarely do I listen to reviewers, but for some reason or another I did with this one. I think it This album is a bit of shameful point for me. Rarely do I listen to reviewers, but for some reason or another I did with this one. I think it was the universal critial panning of the album that let me to ignore it for so long. For almost a year after it was released I went merrily on my way, driving around late at night with "Discovery" still cemented into my CD player. By some odd stroke of fate though, this began wriggling its way into my life track by track. First one track, then two, and once I was up to three tracks that I really found amazing, I asked myself what the reviewers were blabbering about. So I began listening to it in its entirety. Since then the album has creeped its way into my subconcious. I'll find myself listening to something else and then, without even thinking change it to "Human After All." Certain facets of all those negative reviews are true. It is simpler and darker than "Discovery." But almost all of the negative statements made by the reviewers have ultimately become why I completely have become obsessed with this album. There are few albums in the recent past that I find myself thinking about the day, wishing I was listeing to it. It works on both a "headphone" level as well as purely in the background. I honestly can't put into words why this album has taken a hold of me as it has. But if you go into this not expecting "Discovery Deux" it becomes an extremely addictive and ultimately rewarding album. Whereas "Discovery" was the consolidation of 30 years of dance music into one cohesive brilliant statement, "Human After All" is future music. It's uncomprimising and like nothing you've really heard before. Brilliant in both its simplicity and complexity, the album confounds in the best of ways and presents plac ein music where computers begin to have emotion. Full Review »
  2. Jan 16, 2012
    10
    Human After All is an excellent album by one of the best artists that have ever existed. Maybe is not as good as its predecessor, but in myHuman After All is an excellent album by one of the best artists that have ever existed. Maybe is not as good as its predecessor, but in my opinion at the same place as Homework, this record shows to the world what is real electronic music. Because a lot of people thinks that this dance-pop parasites and the awful remixes of their songs are electro. Nothing as far as reality. Human After All is the perfect example of this. Beginning with a masterpiece, the title track is simply awesome, one of the best Daft Punk songs. Prime Time Of Your Life is a strange song, with a lot of industrial music, but still cool. And then, Robot Rock. Epic. How, with a single riff, create something as brilliant. The best song of the CD. Steam Machine is the same story of the second track, but this kind of songs rules and make us see that DP is a very original band. Make Love is the opposite. A calmed song, with a single riff, but that really fits with the concept of art. Absolutely great. The Brainwasher is a great song to, direct to the spirit, effective. On/Off is only an introduction for what comes next, the best song with Robot Rock, Television Rules The Nation. Describe how amazing it is is impossible. Technologic is a fun song, that improves as it progresses. And the last song, Emotion, is a calmed song with a lot of feeling. In conclusion, a great album. Maybe some parts are repetitive, but who cares. It's Daft Punk, and Human After All is one of the tops of music in the 21st century. Full Review »
  3. Dec 15, 2010
    10
    Human After All is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I don't really agree with all the atrocious reviews for it, but I can understand what theseHuman After All is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I don't really agree with all the atrocious reviews for it, but I can understand what these critics are trying to say. Most of the tracks don't really go anywhere. It's like the chorus the whole song. Some are catchy the whole way through, others are just a bit annoying after a bit. All In All, Daft Punk's Discovery was brilliant, but Human After All could 've been so much better. C+ Full Review »