The Best Daft Punk Album?

So…Daft Punk. Every electronic and dance fan worth their weight loves them. Daft Punk epitomize what every artist in the industry, regardless of genre, wants to be in their career. They have complete creative control, they’re indie cool, they’re mainstream popular, and they have a mind-blowing live show. Daft Punk’s live show could have honestly just been them pressing play on their entire discography from start to finish. They have the most prolific discography of any dance artist to date, not to mention their stellar solo work that they can pull from as well. So this is what I’m here to discuss. We’re going to totally skip over the debate of best dance artist, as this is indisputable. Which Daft Punk album is the best? That isn’t so cut and dry. So let’s get to work.

Let’s begin by eliminating Alive 2007, the recorded version of their live show. While mind-blowingly awesome, it really isn’t studio work. So we’re not going to include that one. Also, the Tron Legacy Soundtrack. Again, while a great step forward for film scores and a great piece of work, it’s not really a Daft Punk album, per se. So we’re skipping that too.

So what’s left is Homework, their debut released in 1997, Discovery, Daft Punk’s sophomore effort released in 2001, and Human After All, released in 2005. I’m going to work backwards and eliminate one first. Although still a stellar album despite some of the harsh reviews it has received over the years, I have to eliminate Human After All from the running first. While it has it’s standout tracks such as Technologic, Robot Rock, and the title track Human After All, the album as a whole is unfortunately lacking. A few tracks I could have lived without and it’s much too repetitive at times, even for a fan of house music like myself. However, re-contextualized within the Alive 2007 show, Human After All really shines as the star. Unfortunately, on its own, it is not the best Daft Punk album.

Okay, so this is the hard part. Daft Punk’s first two albums have been absolutely groundbreaking within the genre and for popular music in general. Let’s start with Homework. The album hits hard from start to finish, featuring the best collection of acid house tracks ever assembled. Da Funk became an instant classic. Around the World became an instant classic. The slick, breezy waves of Fresh. The ear-shattering synths of Rolling & Scratching. The thumping kick-drum of Indo Silver Club. The album perfects what already was, and innovates in ways never seen before. Daft Punk’s production techniques were a decade ahead of their time. So, all in all, pretty good review.

Next, Discovery, Daft Punk’s second album. From the opening seconds of One More Time, until the closing seconds of Too Long, Discovery produces single after single. One More Time is perhaps the most popular dance track of all time. Aerodynamic brings a whole new meaning to the use of guitars, if that is even a guitar they used to get those sounds. Digital Love. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, a hit in and of itself and samples of it were used by Kanye West to birth another hit single. Crescendolls. Nightvision. Superheroes. High Life. Something About Us, with its sexy jazz lounge vibe. Voyager, with one of the greatest basslines I’ve ever heard besides Around the World. Veridis Quo. Short Circuit. Face to Face. And of course, Too Long. Every single track on the album has single potential. The songs make you want to dance, they’re accessible, they hit hard, and they sound fun. Through the use of an unbelievable ear for samples, expert production, and a desire to make people dance, Daft Punk have created a masterpiece.

So, which album is the best? The winner goes to Discovery by a nose. Although all of their work is phenomenal, Discovery stands out as the best purely for its accessibility. Homework takes a few listens to grow on the listener, especially if you’re new to the genre. Discovery, on the other hand, will have you dancing from start to finish right from the first listen. And then, after you’ve listened to it on CD over a hundred times, get the album on vinyl and your mind will be blown all over again!

What do you think? Which Daft Punk album do you like best? Should I have included Alive and Tron in my reviews? Or should we start from the beginning and debate if Daft Punk is really the king? Comment below!

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