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Human After All

3.7 out of 5 stars 204 customer reviews

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The French duo featuring Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem recorded the album at their home studio in Paris between September and November 2004. Virgin.

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You'd never guess from Human After All that these are the same guys who came up with the opulent dance grooves of 2001's Discovery. On Human After All it sounds like Daft Punk's robotic alter egos have finally gotten the upper hand and made an album that is defiantly free of emotion and personality. Instead, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo amp up the irony and deliver a set of songs that are maddeningly repetitive, raucous and bound to test the most devoted fan's patience. But even as the French duo short-circuits it manages to captivate--the spoken-word "Technologic" and the digitized "The Prime Of Your Life" are just bananas enough to make its euphoric hit "One More Time" sound positively last century. --Aidin Vaziri
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B0007DAZW8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,157 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I noticed quite a few reviewers claim this album is too repetitive. Our French androids' last record, "Discovery," was a very fun and poppy collection of songs that made you just want to dance and have a good time. This new record is less danceable perhaps, and it's certainly not something you can sing along to, but this album has a certain beauty that puts you in a completely different state of mind. That has always been the magic of Daft Punk.

The music is harder, darker, and filled with a broader range of emotion than Daft Punk has previously expressed. The opening track, "Human After All," becomes progressively more tense and seems to speak of a desperate search for identity in a cold world where technology is dehumanizing us, and I would call it my favorite Daft Punk song of all time. This theme continues into tracks like "Television Rules The Nation." There are some dancey, active tracks as well, such as "Robot Rock" and the better known "Technologic" that flows like a well-oiled machine. Tracks such as "Steam Machine" and "The Brainwasher" are harsh and busy like faceless cities where people are all plugged into their electronics and completely disconnected from what they were born with inside. Then there are soft songs that surprised me, "Make Love" and "Emotion." These are dream-like melodies that remind one of simple times, simples touches, simple connections, memories that bring us hope on lonely nights while also reminding us that we are imperfect and in need of love.

"Human After All" is not something you can play at a party. It is something you can zone out on, something that can put you in another world. It is something to listen to while you are drawing or writing, while driving alone at night, while staring up at your ceiling in your room and wondering if you're the only person alive. It is a powerful, introverted, emotional work and deserves another listen or two before you throw it back on the shelf.
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Format: Audio CD
"Human After All" is a concept album. The title is "Human After All", but the music couldn't be more robotic and cold. From my perspective, the album seems to be about a robot who is analyzing humans. What is their function, their purpose, their fascination with technology, their relationship with it, their relationships with one another, etc.

The tracks seem to each focus on a specific theme. One moment, it's about robots making music ("Robot Rock"), the next it's about our fascination with technology and all the things we do to it and it does to us ("Television Rules The Nation", "Technologic").

Daft Punk releases music only every 4 years or so, and making an album like this made the fans wonder what exactly happened to them. Did they rush release a demo album? Did they loose their minds? The answer is no. They have merely tried to make an artistic statement. Their first album was, as Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk put it, "making something out of nothing". The second album was an experiment into the world of emotion, I think, and really was their try at making a more "human" album. If anything, "Human After All" is an artistic statement. It may have alienated a few fans, but after giving the album a few listens, the music starts to grow on you. It really feels like a progression, despite the repetitive and cold nature of the album. The tracks seem to have gained popularity over the past year, especially when Daft Punk played a now legendary set at this year's Coachella festival.

Perhaps the album will make more sense when Daft Punk release their upcoming film, "Electroma", which centers on two robots (Bangalter and de Homem-Christo) in their quest to become human. In the meantime, let the album grow on you and you might just "get it".

Key tracks: "Human After All", "The Prime Time Of Your Life", "Robot Rock", "The Brainwasher", "Television Rules The Nation", "Technologic".
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Format: Audio CD
Expectations are a funny thing. It was expectation that made me buy this album as soon as it was in stores, and it was the same expectation that led me to feel -- at first -- a little disappointed.

Disappointment in music is nothing new, especially if you pay too much attention to critics. If an album's too much like the one before it, they're in a rut. Too different and they've lost their way. Daft Punk managed to turn a lot of critics on their heads with "Discovery", most that gave it middle of the road reviews have since changed their tune, thankfully addmitting that Homework Part 2 would have been too simple. But still many were and still are uncomfortable, mislabelling the fleshing out of their sound as going mainstream. I'm sure I would have tired of One More Time if I actually listened to the radio, but if you tune into Top 40 you get what you deserve.

When "Human After All" landed, you could cut the anticipation with a knife. A lot of the negative reviews I've seen branch off from a literal interpretation of the title before it even saw light. People everywhere were looking forward to a more vibrant, living, breathing Daft Punk. We might be treated to that in another few years, we might not. It's not important. Daft Punk did the classy thing and decided not to make another Discovery. They made new fans with that album, and that's great, I can't think of another act that deserved a bigger fan base more than them. When I first heard their latest, I couldn't find the heart. I fell into the trap of assuming they took the easy way out, and cooked some passable beats to get an album out.

But time makes fools of us all, and it didn't take too long for me to fall in love with "Human After All".
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