Discovery - Discovery

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Starting off with the irresistibly hummable "One More Time," Daft Punk's second album, Discovery, blows through a head-spinning array of styles and samples, creating a pop culture stew of funky loops and dance floor anthems, while displaying the characteristics of a million other artists. The keyboard noodlings of Jean Michel-Jarre are in there somewhere, along with the otherworldly imagery and giant hooks of 1970s rock icons like Boston or Electric Light Orchestra. There are dashes of 1999-era Prince and oodles of new wave/disco, from Gary Numan to The Bee Gees, all set off with efficient house beats. "Aerodynamic" eschews breakbeats for a guitar interlude that somehow ends up meshing in a crazy blend of stomping basslines and hyped-up harmonics. "Digital Love" starts off silly and gets sillier, but the monosyllabic lyrics serve to lull the senses enough for the song's summery groove to grab hold with authority. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is the definitive salvo in the dance floor retro/vocoder battle that began in earnest with Cher's Believe, 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 momentum that transforms repetitive melodies into sudden revelations. The record's only mis-step, 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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