Random Access Memories

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: May 21, 2013

Universal acclaim - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
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  1. Random Access Memories is teeming with life, and the multitude of genres presented as well as the production choices of the duo help the album deliver on its promise.
  2. May 20, 2013
    Random Access Memories is also Daft Punk's most personal work, and richly rewarding for listeners willing to spend time with it.
  3. Jul 3, 2013
    RAM has the immediate appeal of disco, but never overstuffs with candied hooks, even when we want it to.
  4. RAM can oftentimes feel scattered, too ambitious, or too similar to the era it’s working from, but, in the end, it’s an album held together by that palpable reverence.
  5. May 14, 2013
    Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have made an analog album that's less of a "throwback" and more of a salute to the idols that would now do anything to hop on the duo's full-length.
  6. May 29, 2013
    This is a dazzling album, steeped in soul and brimming with an uncommon musicality, all rhythmic urgency and compelling melodies and anthemic choruses.
  7. May 21, 2013
    There’s definitely an epic heft to it, aided by a deep, varied bench of guest talent.
  8. May 20, 2013
    In many ways, it is the least forward-looking Daft Punk recording, but also the most ambitious--a concept album that plays like an alternative music history, with an emphasis on styles and sounds that don’t usually fit into the Baby Boomer-dictated pop/rock canon.
  9. May 10, 2013
    Random Access Memories confuses, disappoints and grates.
  10. May 23, 2013
    Unbound by convention, Daft Punk seamlessly included whatever the hell they wanted on this record. Not just because they’re musically sublime robots from a future of hovercrafts and Judy Jetson discotheques, but because Daft Punk knows when to edit and when to fall free.
  11. Jul 12, 2013
    As a record standing almost entirely on nostalgia, sure, it gives schmaltzy ’70s dance music a fine, not-sacrilegious update and sets it to a pleasant neon glow, but it’s a trip through history that’s almost more educational than immersive.
  12. 80
    Random Access Memories proves that Daft Punk remain masters of their domain, who defend their array of superlatives because of, rather than in spite of, unconventional sound choices.
  13. 90
    With Random Access Memories, the duet has returned after a long hiatus from proper studio albums, with another triumphant winner.
  14. May 9, 2013
    Random Access Memories is, for all the DJ-on-camera dancing hype, an album in the proper sense of the word; these aren't thirteen dancefloor ready bangers, it's a grandiose statement of intent.
  15. May 17, 2013
    After the sometimes frustrating, frequently exhilarating journey, the thrilling, head-shattering, Captain Eugene Cernan-sampling 'Contact', manned by DJ Falcon, simply soars.
  16. 100
    It's a headphones album in an age of radio singles; a bravura live performance that stands out against pro forma knob-twiddling; a jazzy disco attack on the basic house beat; a full collaboration at a time when the superstar DJ stands alone. It's also quite moving; melancholy runs through every song.
  17. May 13, 2013
    This is the album on which Daft Punk are truly and convincingly "human after all." And on this toweringly grand achievement, they've never sounded better.
  18. May 15, 2013
    As long as you’re prepared to accept that it’s a Hollywood production inspired more by Steely Dan and California highways than Cajmere and French basements, then Random Access Memories is a treat.
  19. May 28, 2013
    With only a couple of uninspiring tracks, this is an ambitious game-changer that’ll leave you with a renewed optimism about the future of music.
  20. Mojo
    Jun 18, 2013
    Random Access Memories manages to maintain a core of sense and sobriety. [Jul 2013, p.83]
  21. May 9, 2013
    On paper these might sound like mad genius, but Daft Punk somehow misplace the wit and the light touch that’s pretty much their trademark. Instead, these long epics become somewhat tedious and there is a strong whiff of egoism and self-indulgence.
  22. 100
    By assembling a cast of their favourite musicians and delving into their adolescent memories, Daft Punk have created something as emotionally honest as any singer-songwriter confessional--and a lot more fun to dance to.
  23. May 21, 2013
    What Daft Punk have done on Random Access Memories could be seen as a methodically curated, musical museum of the future, rather than a conservatory for experimental collaboration.
  24. May 23, 2013
    The songs’ simple moods--at times sentimental, winsome and ecstatic--nicely play off the depth and obsessive detail in the music.
  25. May 21, 2013
    This is the hardest Daft Punk’s ever worked on an album, but their songwriting and programming skills aren’t up to the others.
  26. May 20, 2013
    The record will remain, something that channels the past but sounds like little else right now, an album about rediscovery that's situated in the constantly-shifting present.
  27. May 20, 2013
    It has no chance in hell to answer to all the hype and buzz around it, it’s not going to impact the dance music scene that reveres the robots so and you might as well be playing it on shuffle, but it’s a rich and warm musical experience that suits both the dancefloor and concentrated headphone listening in equal amounts that forms an important part of the duo’s musical journey.
  28. 100
    It took exuberance, painstaking detail, and wide-eyed nostalgia for Daft Punk to create Random Access Memories, their best.
  29. Q Magazine
    May 13, 2013
    Daft Punk's best album in a career that's already redefined dance music at least twice. It is, in short, a mind-blower. [Jun 2013, p.88]
  30. Jun 26, 2013
    They've wisely chosen to not compete with the younger generation of DJs, and shown the upstarts the roots of dance music. They've also proven that they are not one-trick ponies who can only build beats on samples. They do just as well with a completely different sonic pallette.
  31. Jun 4, 2013
    Ultimately, you don’t quite get the sky-scraping, genre-blending bangers mustered in the past, nor the negative synergy and diminishing returns of many collaboration-heavy, late-career albums.
  32. May 20, 2013
    once Random Access Memories unravels, it is, at its best, pretty magnificent.
  33. May 13, 2013
    At times, the album is a victim of its own ambition. But it wouldn't be half as awesome a ride if it had aimed any lower.
  34. May 17, 2013
    RAM is an album that ultimately comes off having more respect for its spiritual predecessors than its listeners.
  35. May 17, 2013
    They're not robots, they're "robots." They "rock" and want you to "dance." In that sense, this is absolutely in keeping with the band's legacy. It is theater: absolutely sincere and totally fake.
  36. May 21, 2013
    The album is nonetheless an entrancing and endlessly entertaining musical experience, a fun collection that can soundtrack a great party from start to finish, but also rewards the focused listener with a collage of fascinating quirks.
  37. May 9, 2013
    Not a great leap forwards, then, but a welcome throwback nonetheless.
  38. May 15, 2013
    Its flaws are outweighed by moments that justify the excitement. It felt like a major event before its release: more incredibly, it still does once you've heard it.
  39. 80
    Like their Discovery LP which laid fresh pathways for pop and dance in 2001, Random Access Memories breathes life into the safe music that dominates today’s charts, with its sheer ambition.
  40. It's an album which makes you feel warm.
  41. 95
    Despite the level of fastidiousness that’s standard to Daft Punk, Random Access Memories still sounds loose. The album doesn’t feel synthetic or disingenuous, as it perhaps should. So perhaps these two are cooler than anyone you know.
  42. May 20, 2013
    Daft Punk have shone a laser beam into dark corners of the 70s and 80s and made them sing again, with timbres more human than ever before.
  43. May 28, 2013
    As great as these tracks are though, it's difficult to shake the feeling that they just aren't really Daft Punk.
  44. May 14, 2013
    Their return should be heralded from on high, because it is the boldest, smartest, most colourful and purely pleasurable dance album of this decade.
  45. May 21, 2013
    Random Access Memories is by no means a perfect record, but it consistently possesses an inspired, organic sense of a vitality, a quality that is often denied by the cut-and-paste status quo of EDM.
  46. Uncut
    May 24, 2013
    Silly and overblown, but wittily, brilliantly so. [Jul 2013, p.73]
  47. May 17, 2013
    In the first half especially the format of fast song/slow song/fast song/slow song is adhered to a little too rigidly and, while the individual tracks are fantastic, it feels a little disjointed.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 996 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 213
  1. May 21, 2013
    Random Access Memories is in the simplest of terms a triumph. Despite Daft Punk's robotic visage, every song on the album feels incrediblyRandom Access Memories is in the simplest of terms a triumph. Despite Daft Punk's robotic visage, every song on the album feels incredibly heartfelt, from the love letter to the Synthesizer that is Giorgio by Moroder, to the laid back and hypnotic Fragments of Time.

    Despite having few collaborations prior to this record, Daft Punk clearly know how to get the best out of their new recruits. By selectively choosing artists and musicians that they look up to and admire, Daft Punk have managed to easily intertwine their inimitable electronic class with the likes of Nile Rodgers' incredibly catchy guitars, Todd Edwards' smooth cut-ups and Panda Bear's confident indie feel.

    From the reviews and opinions I've gathered so far, the album's biggest point of contention seems to be 'Touch' the collaboration with Paul Williams. Whilst definitely not the best track on the album, it's certainly one that grows on you, especially when it hits that magnificent 3:20 mark.

    Definitely not an album that should be missed by anybody.
    Full Review »
  2. May 26, 2013
    I don't get the hype people...
    The 70s feel is nice and the beats are wonderful, but it lacks so much.
    It's like they wanted to just throw a
    I don't get the hype people...
    The 70s feel is nice and the beats are wonderful, but it lacks so much.
    It's like they wanted to just throw a bunch of sounds together to make some of the longs long (and not actually listen to someone who is good at making the longer songs; Rush & Zeppelin).
    It drags on, the singing is monotone on 50% of the album, and you hear the same thing over and over and over... That's not music IMO.
    Full Review »
  3. May 21, 2013
    After 3 years of silence, the noise has finally returned. The rightful kings of EDM (Electronic-Dance Music) are back and in full swing withAfter 3 years of silence, the noise has finally returned. The rightful kings of EDM (Electronic-Dance Music) are back and in full swing with their new album. The tracks ooze through the speakers with such magnificence, you will have to brace yourself to endure the exhilarating experience. The songs intertwine together, tied tightly together with a bow, and handed to you to open and enjoy. I must say that Daft Punk may have lost some of their electronic side in the transition period, but those are minor details. It seems as if comparing Human After All with Random Access Memories is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, they're both fruits, but they're nothing alike.

    Even from the beginning, Daft Punk make their message clear. They are trying to "Give Life Back To Music". They, unlike all pop music today, have emotion. They have rhythm and soul. So, maybe these cold, metallic robots do have hearts after all. They seem to show love and want to spread it with their music. The feel good tracks such as "Get Lucky" and "Lose Yourself To Dance" get their audience into a hypnotic state of being, mesmerized by the entrancing beats. One song in particular caught my attention. The track "The Game of Love" is a heart-wrenching masterpiece with a similar feel to "Something About Us" from Discovery. This lyrics, despite being distorted by a robotic voice, express a deep lamentation and exclamation of love.

    The first half of the album is flawless. The songs are smooth and errorless. When you slowly transition into the second half, it seems as though the songs become more ambient. They would be perfect if they were played in the background of a party, but not as frontline tracks. I'm not saying that they are bad tracks, but they lack the emotion and funkiness that is set-up in the first half. However, I am slightly disappointed with "Doin' It Right". This track features the genius vocalist/drummer Noah Lennox (or better known as Panda Bear). He is a member of one of my favourite bands, Animal Collective, and has made a splash in the electronic spectrum. I figured that the rhythm behind Animal Collective would create a heavenly collaboration with two electronic gods. I was sadly mistaken when I heard the lack-lustre track. It's not all bad, but I really expected something with a little more "oomph".

    Despite a few minor setbacks, Daft Punk have created one of the most enjoyable albums this year and continue to surprise us with new tricks up their sleeves.
    Full Review »