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Discovery

4.5 out of 5 stars 571 customer reviews

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Discovery
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Audio CD, March 13, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The French twosome behind Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, get away with an awful lot. They go around impersonating aliens and robots in their interviews, they put records out only once every three years, and they make music that evokes a million other artists--while not really sounding like any of them. The keyboard noodlings of Jean-Michel Jarre are in there somewhere, along with the otherworldly imagery and giant hooks of '70s rock icons like Boston or even Electric Light Orchestra. There are dashes of 1999-era Prince and oodles of new wave and disco cheese, from Harold Faltermeyer and Gary Numan to the Bee Gees, all set off with efficient house beats. So how have they managed to position themselves as electronic music's next great crossover artists? On Discovery, the follow-up to the 1998 worldwide smash Homework, the answer is obvious: they have no shame, and they know how to make us dance.

Starting off with the irresistibly hummable "One More Time," the record blows through a head-spinning array of styles and samples, creating a pop-culture stew of funky loops and dance-floor anthems. "Aerodynamic" eschews breakbeats for an Yngwie Malmsteen-ish guitar interlude that somehow ends up meshing in a crazy blend of stomping bass lines and hyped-up harmonics. "Digital Love" starts off silly and gets sillier, but the monosyllabic lyrics lull the senses just right, allowing the song's summery groove to grab hold with authority. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is a resounding standout amidst the retro/Vocoder deluge that transpired after Cher's Believe turned the kitchy disco device into a worldwide pop music trend, spinning a clever groove around an ever-escalating string of computerized seduction. Everywhere on the record, gigantic beats are dropped with pinpoint precision, giving songs a momentum that transforms repetitive melodies into sudden revelations. The record's only misstep, the aptly named "Short Circuit" utilizes a keyboard riff that is nails-on-a-chalkboard awful, but it can't keep this from being one of the best records of 2001. --Matthew Cooke

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B000059MEK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (571 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,378 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Even if you bought this record just for it's liquefied metal cover, you would not be disappointed. This is truly a fantastic album in every sense of the word. And the techniques used in the creation were just fabulous. One of the things my friend said when he first heard me playing it was "the samples sound so CLEAN!" And they do. Every sample has been processed at incredibly high quality, there is no "Lo-Fi" on this record. The entire record is permeated with funky-style samples that you swear you know but just can't seem to place. Every song has some fantastic SOMETHING about it:
1.One More Time - the perfect party track! a thick thumping bassline and everybody-that's-not-a-raver's-view of the raver world lyrics -:)-, catches your attention immediately.
2.Aerodynamic - by far, the most significant bit on this track is the squealing pseudo-guitar solo. It may be simple, but it sounds REALLY COOL!
3.Digital Love - early 80's motivational tapes samples with cheesy vocoded lyrics = something still meaningful? To be honest, it's still fun to listen to, despite it's cheesiness.
4.Harder, Better Faster, Stronger - one of my favorite songs on the record. Easy to dance to, but it features one of the most incredible things I've ever heard. To understand you have to know what a vocoder is. A vocoder is a device that takes your voice, specifically the vibrations in your voice, and converts it to the tone of the instrument it is attached to, which is almost ALWAYS a keyboard for simplicity. What's really neat about Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, is that at 2:25, the vocoder is switched over to an odd device that triggers it by a guitar. It's especially obvious at certain points, where the player is playing a really neat solo.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Now this is interesting. Apparently these guys have been famous for quite a while, yet somehow I'd never heard of them. All that was remedied recently though. When I heard that Leiji Matsumoto had created a full-length animated feature with stunning animation based on an ablum by Daft Punk, I just had to check it out. While my opinion of that excellent piece of animation is mixed (I just didn't dig the story or think most of it matched the songs all that well), it did something to me. It made me buy the album it was based on "Discovery". Wow.

In this case, it seemed more like the music video was just a distraction than an extension of the music. When I first started listening to the album I thought it was okay, but as I progressed through it, listening to the songs in order, and then repeating some just to hear them one more time, I got HOOKED.

It's hard to describe. I love electronic music and techno and all that sort of thing, but this is different. The voices and music are all really just toyed with by the musical artists in these songs. Everything is just a way to get you into a feeling, of a rhythm, or a beat. The more you hear the songs, they more they grow on you, the more you get into them, the more you like them, the more you listen to them.

Take that song "One more time". That song is downright addictive! The beat is so infectious that I found I absolutely had to move to the song while I was listening to it. Ditto for the next three tracks. "Aerodynamic" is amazing because it uses electric guitar like a piano player uses his keyboard, not just for show, but to extend and play with a melody, finally turning it into a music-box version of itself before transforming into my favorite song on the album "Digital Love". I love that song.
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1 Comment 51 of 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Let me start by saying this CD is really great!

Its definitely Daft Punk's most 80's sounding release, but has a lot more to it than something like "Darkdancer" by Les Rhythm Digitales. Where that CD was very one sided, "Discovery" is a kaleidoscope of sound, with so much to hear on so many levels.

The beats are still there - it's like nothing has changed since '97 - but what Daft Punk seem to have done on "Discovery" for the most part is incorporate all the sounds from their childhoods (the 80's) into these tracks. That means vocoders, heavy metal guitar soloing, FM Rock keyboard sounds, computer game sounds, all stuck together with huge disco beats.

Starting with the single and opening track "One More Time", you get 14 pieces of funk without the slightly annoying interludes featured on "Homework". In fact, the only slightly interlude-ish song here is "Nightvision", and even that sounds like an 10cc / Chicago / Supertramp crossover.

Best songs here are "Digital Love" (which sounds a bit like Buggles(!)), "Harder Better Faster Stronger" (the best use of vocoder I've ever heard) and probably "Something About Us", only because it's so different from anything they've done before: It sounds like an 80's funk ballad! Hello, Level 42?!

You may have noticed that I've used the phrase "80's" a lot here. But don't be put off - this is still a very modern sounding album. In fact, it sounds amazing; the production level is very high here.

So buy it basically. If you liked "Homework", "Music Sounds Better With You", and the whole Cassius / Air / French genre, you will love this.
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