The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 7, 2013

Admitting disappointment in Daft Punk album is OK

By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor

JOPLIN, Mo. — I had no idea that dissing Daft Punk's new album was on the same level as burning a flag or lighting up a cigarette inside an elementary school.

Yet, that's what I did last week, apparently. I said on Facebook that "Random Access Memories" had two great songs and the rest wasn't that great. I suggested -- OK, I outright said -- that the album was overrated and that it works great as background music to whatever one might be doing, but it doesn't command enough attention throughout its entirety.

In response I was told that I should be shunned as a non-believer and that I shouldn't be reviewing music. Thus, my fragile male ego was injured.

In all seriousness, I enjoyed some good debate about the album and the relative merits of it. The people defending "Random Access Memories" as album of the year were as good-natured as I was and probably nicer than I was. It's not like I dissed Insane Clown Posse, only to have a slew of Juggalos threaten my personal safety and spam my socials with badly spelled rants about how I suck. (That last sentence will likely be a self-fulfilling prophecy -- such is my curse for knowing exactly how magnets work.)

Still, I think it's important to have this conversation about the album and the lingering disappointment it triggers. Some important points:

But we're not having that debate. We're talking about how good this album is, in and of itself.

The closest that the band gets to its sound from past albums is on the closing track, "Contact." The rest of the album's disco-inspired sound is different from what the band has done, but that sound has been done before. I like the album. I like Daft Punk. And I'm perfectly OK with how "Get Lucky" sounds nothing like "Da Funk."

So don't feel bad if you feel like you are required to like the album just because of the hype. It's OK to say that the album is OK, and nothing more. Admitting the disappointment with what the album could have been will help enjoy the album for what it actually is.

And look at the bright side: It's 10 times better than anything Insane Clown Posse ever did.