Random Access Memories is most definitely one of the greatest albums of all time. A pioneer in nu-disco, or just electronic music in general. Arguably a masterpiece, which I feel a lot of people would agree with me on that. Today, I and 9 others decided to make a full collaborative story review, we hope you enjoy it!
Introductory Exposition (Written By @TomBejoy):
Good morning albumoftheyear.org! It’s your favorite meme reviewer, TomBejoy. First off I would like to shout out MattsReviews for hosting these community reviews on his handle. I love how he is maturing as a reviewer and this concept just takes it further.
Real-time collaborative writing over a document app seems a bit more human than the average collaborative review. It feels like I’m sitting down, with a group of friends, and preparing for a presentation at school or something.
Despite the nomenclature on RAM’s predecessor, aptly named Human, After All, it seems like Random Access Memories itself is Daft Punk’s most fully formed and humane project at the end of the day. Gone are the days heralding the old disco undertones and french house trendsetting groove tracks that earmarked their initial production.
RAM, instead, employs a rock and roll tinged sound that while not completely uncharted to the french robots in the past, did sound rather uncharacteristic but it was a welcome wind of change. But my story with this album is different. I was willing to be a part of this community review because of how much magnitude this particular project carries to me,
Save for a compilation album by The Police, or maybe a random Taylor Swift project, Random Access Memories is one of the first albums I ever listened to in full. It was the radio single Get Lucky that enticed the then 9-year-old me towards this album run.
I’m not sure about whether I first listened to this in order on the first go as it was off a set of rather an illegal video to mp3 rips, man I was into this thing. My taste went downhill over time as I tried to keep up with whatever the “cool kids” bumped to at school, but deep down, I’m extremely delighted that this was one of the first albums that I listened to. It wasn’t hard to find Daft Punk around the mainstream at the time, so it’s not astonishing that I stumbled upon this.
To many, their story with Random Access Memories, or any Daft Punk album may involve them tracing down the hype and taking a first listen in 2020, about 7 whopping years since their last drop, or it could be someone who loves this album with a heart and soul, or someone like me, who doesn’t find the album to be spot-free or flawless, yet I have a massive soft spot in my heart for this thing. I guess we’re getting carried away, are we? Something tells me to respin this album during Christmas, and maybe I’ll do so.
RAM is definitely overshadowed by Discovery, but this doesn’t draw away from the mastery on here. Some of their most iconic tracks and work, period, is on this record. For example, Paul Williams assisted Touch.
Touch forms the center of this LP. It’s an 8-minute long magnum opus that carries the emotional weight of a Beach Life In Death without a massive amount of lyrical content. The flawless transitions, Paul Williams’ bittersweet verses, and the triumphant instrumental passage straight out of a wedding scene
So now riding in the car, spending Christmas aside from the streetlights, and something gave me the motivation to continue writing this thing. I’m combating motion sickness, but I guess I’m thirsty to write more, for some reason.
I spun the rather melancholy Touch on my dad’s stereo. The thing drew me like it went: baby, time for your session of annual Christmas weeping (lmao)
I have “Touch” on a playlist for potential wedding songs. I’m way far off tying the knot because, man I’m 15, and I’m an aromantic incel, but this album makes me want to. It’s lighthearted, groovy, sensuous, and easy on the ears. The same goes for anything on here, whether it be Fragments of Time or Get Lucky. Or even more melancholy and sober off love cuts on here like Instant Crush, or Motherboards dense and long mastery that makes me high off nothing.
Goddamn, the splitting motion sickness headaches kicking. I downloaded the docs app for this. But anything for my French robot men, I guess. My parents and I are head bopping to Daft Punk for the second time since 2017. Merry Christmas. My dad just turned up the volume. Bonkers. Tom, signing off.
Brief Intermission (Written by MattsReviews):
Random Access Memories. What does that make you think of? How does it make you feel? Whenever I think of this album, I think of a nu-disco masterpiece. A work of art. It makes me feel nostalgic for something that I’ve never even had before. It’s a beautiful piece of music that captures the feelings of the 80s/90s in the form of electronic/funk music. The duo group Daft Punk are pioneers of this genre. Each of the 13 songs just sounds like instant classics. Even if you haven’t heard the songs before, I feel for some reason if you heard it you would still go “Have I heard this before?”. That’s the magical thing about this. The stunning strong production carries this project to the top. The use of autotune in the voices was used pretty creatively and didn’t sound like a gimmick at all, especially when this technology was relatively new at the time, they’ve seemed to perfect it. The features here don’t ruin the production, they actually add to it. This LP has a great balance in each of its performances/styles, and it’s magical.
Now it’s time for what you came for. The story reviews! I decided to contact multiple people to write a story review on each individual song (some having more than one). The theme of the stories is dreams. All of the songs on this album have this sense of nostalgia, story, and captivation, and I thought it would be a great idea that they would be able to write a dream on each song on how the song feels or sounds.
I hope you enjoy it! Welcome to the Dream Anthology!
Collection of Dreams:
Dream #1 (@MattsReviews): Give Life Back To Music
It’s 1983 and I just came to the roller-skating rink after the game. Wow! It’s packed!
I slipped on my roller skates and started skating. The environment was mesmerizing. Disco lights blaring, they were the only source of light in the whole building. Everyone skating around in the rink, people bunched up at the snack bar, kids laughing and playing at the arcade. It was a recipe for a fun night.
“Let the music in tonight
Just turn on the music
Let the music of your life
Give life back to music”
The place was alive, non-stop fun. Screams of children, the smell of pizza, the flashing lights, the overall atmosphere just seemed like a place I wanted to be for the rest of my life. There was something I felt telling me that nothing can really get any better than this.
Then the lights turned off, the smells of food were gone, the laughs of children were gone, the sound of the wheels on the skates was non-existent, everything was just pitch black. I opened my eyes, in distraught, that it was a dream.
I’m in 2020, not 1983. I can’t even leave the house. I can’t really have nearly as much fun now as I could’ve then.
How could I feel so nostalgic for something I’ve never experienced? Not all dreams come true I guess...
Dream #2 (@nxnzn): The Game of Love
An old dream from my journal.
October 25, 2010 ━ 11:23 PM
The restless evenings I spent reflecting upon this dream, my heart will perpetually throb.
You broke me, you abandoned me when I needed you most.
You played me like a game.
As I stroll through the noisy and exhilarant streets of New York,
I ponder of all the times our fingers intertwined, my heart would skip a beat.
Will this melancholy feeling pass?
Was he even real?
I knew it was never authentic, yet I wanted you to stay to ease the pain I endured.
It appears we both used each other.
I was in a trance all along.
“And it was you
I just wanted you to stay
Me, I just wanted you to stay
Me, I just wanted you to stay
Me, I just wanted you to stay”
It was just a game, a game of love.
Dream #3 (@BGL13): Giorgio by Moroder
When my dream began I was outside of a discotheque in Italy, I looked at the sign outside.
It read: “Tonight’s Show: Giorgio Moroder”
I recognized that name, but I didn't quite remember where I'd heard it. Judging by the buildings, cars, and clothing I saw around me, I could guess that this dream took place sometime in the early ’70s.
The set ended. I think it lasted about 30 minutes but I wasn’t sure. I saw Giorgio outside of the venue. I’ve been trying to make my own music so I decided to ask him for advice. He told me...
“Once you free your mind about a concept of harmony and of music being "correct", you can do whatever you want.”
The first thing I did when I woke up was look up the name Giorgio Moroder. I learned that he has worked with Outkast, Daft Punk, and more along with even starting his own record label. I thought to myself:
“If he’s this successful I better take his advice to heart!”
So I got out my notebook and wrote down what I could remember.
Note From Author: I actually do have the quote written down in my notebook. When I first heard it, it really spoke to me and sparked me as actual useful advice.
Dream #4 (@Basic_Garci): Within
falling wasn’t supposed to happen. this wasn’t supposed to happen. a dream wasn’t a place to be exposed to what makes you vulnerable at all. wasn’t it supposed to make you feel safe and loved? why did it just make me feel lost? after the smoke above this...place cleared, and i was in a small room surrounded with doors and emptiness. i touched down at my chest, it wasn’t there. there was a mirror, as if the abyss could hear me calling to find the answers. but i saw nothing. how am i this lost and how in the hell cant i remember my name? what was i supposed to do? there is obviously a reason why i’m here, i need to find something...or someone. before i stepped towards one of the doors i did something that surprised me. i prayed. please, just let me find this. i want to go back. please let me know...i need to know...
Dream #5 (@nxnzn): Instant Crush
She was only real in my dreams.
The favorable presence of her with me brought me serotonin. She had this divine outlook on life.
The instant connection I felt with her felt natural and safe.
She swooped me in and failed me as a friend.
I was too attached, too delusional to realize she couldn’t care less about me.
I generally was the one who would listen to her problems, she never listened to mine.
"I listened to your problems
Now listen to mine"
I didn't want to anymore, oh, oh, oh”
We had these “meaningful” conversations about life and what we thought we would pursue in the future. The thing is, it was always about her.
She brought me down when I was at my greatest.
I was chained to her presence and tied deeply to her serenity state.
She was only real in my dreams, what a relief.
Dream #6 (@nxnzn): Lose Yourself to Dance
Mentally I was there.
Physically I was not.
The restless night of my dream after it ended, the earnest craving to escape this reality and go back ignited inside me like sparks.
The year was 1985.
He gave me his hand and led me to the dance floor.
I didn’t know who he was, but I felt something that I haven't felt in a long time.
“I know you don't get a chance to take a break this often
I know your life is speeding and it isn't stopping
Here, take my shirt and just go ahead and wipe up all the
Sweat, sweat, sweat”
Everyone was dancing and sweating including myself.
The lights flashing, the music blaring. Energy emerged.
It felt genuine. I was at peace. My agony was no more.
I lost myself to the dance. I was united and connected to the dance floor.
All I could fathom, I didn’t want to be myself anymore as my misery evaporated away.
I desire to go back and remain dancing till the end of time. It was paradise.
Dream #7 (@Scre4meh): Touch
"It's in the middle of the record at the point where you're furthest from either shore. It's the idea of retro-futurism, of going back 50 or 80 years or going forward. It's this kind of portal to try and express something." ~ Thomas Bangalter
I drift off in my sleep and find myself in an endless void of melancholy and nothingness. The only thing I can tell apart from my own floating consciousness is a bright light, seemingly getting closer.
I remember touch"
It strikes me. A new...feeling. A renewed experience that I haven't felt in such a long time. The light. Is a small touch that connects all my memories, from the heartfelt first touch of a newborn to the simple touch of a loving wife. I feel confused.
"A painter in my mind
Tell me what you see
A tourist in a dream
A visitor, it seems"
I feel weird. I feel like I do not belong in this ethereal dream of sprinkled memories that my mind is recreating. I am a...tourist. Maybe it's my brain not being used to such things. I didn't feel such happiness in a very long time. I need more. I need to learn how to process these new emotions properly. But, I remember...
"Kiss, suddenly alive
Hunger like a storm
How do I begin?"
I remember...the kiss. A rush of adrenaline, love, and happiness hits me. I need more. I need to understand my consciousness more. I am curious now. I want to see where... love can lead. All the new doors that have opened for me are deceiving. I need to learn how to comprehend consciousness.
"Home, hold on, if love is the answer, you're home"
I hear a voice, my own voice. Love is the answer. Learn how to love others and love yourself and never back down from your goals. You don't need to express it, you need to embrace it. That is how you process the touch. Love is the answer. It becomes your home and happiness. I am happy. But...
"You've given me too much to feel
You've almost convinced me I'm real
I need something more”
I wake up and wonder if it was all just a sad mirage or if it was an actual feeling. For a second, I thought it was real. I don't want to become addicted to this dream, but I want more. I need more.
Dream #8 (@eliiscool5): Get Lucky
I found myself in a foreign environment, standing in the seamless void. It was completely pitch black, sightless, and soundless. “Where am I?” I tried to speak but the deafening sound of nihility blocked me from doing so. As I tried to grasp my surroundings, I turned my head around, searching for any signs of life. And there it was, far away, a bright, bright moon, with the luminous rays casting onto 4 people, who were...a band? Why are they performing in the middle of nowhere?
They seemed harmless, so I figured it would be best to walk up to them, searching for labyrinthine answers, and for curiosity. As I trudged closer and closer, my hearing senses slowly turned up. First I heard the drum set. “Nice riff,” I thought. Second I heard the piano. “Nice chords,” I thought. Then I heard the guitar and a vocal. “Ooo, they got something going on there.” Playing in the void, that is my question.
I stood in front of them, as the volume now is turned up to the max. There was 1 that kept singing, 1 that kept smiling, while the other 2 were motorbike enthusiasts. “Hey, what are you doing here?” I asked. “We're up all night to the sun, We're up all night to get some, We're up all night for good fun, We're up all night to get lucky...” Didn’t answer my question. I asked once more, yet this time, the motorbike lads decided to have a go at singing as well. I figured they wouldn’t answer my question, so I decided to hang around the company and engulf myself in the music. Since, you know, it sounds really good.
The song ended, yet repeated itself again. Or was it just continuing the same loop? I’ve lost track. It’s been quite some time already. But there I stood, with my body moving in accordance with the rhythm, no one to judge my “questionable” dancing, I felt as if I had become one with the melody. “Dancing to a band performance in the seamless void”, should be an interesting line to add to my job resume. But at the moment, I have nothing on my mind, except the infectious rhythm. “We’re up all night to get lucky.”
Dream #9 (@Scre4meh): Beyond
I am in a majestic dream. I feel glorious and I achieve a brand new state of mind. It's my dream and nobody will find me here. I feel like flying among clouds on a dragon, enjoying a huge array of spectacular neon lights soaring through the sky. That's what dreams need to be like.
"Dream beyond dreams
You will find your song"
Dream of something higher, imagine yourself as the center of the Universe, your own Universe, because that's what dreams are, a getaway to your own small Heaven where everything becomes whatever you want. A safe Heaven I might add. You can be a God or, I don't know, a robot for what I care. The important thing is to always feel good and happy and get away from the usual.
"There's no such thing as competition
To find our way, we lose control
Remember, love's our only mission
This is a journey of the soul"
I lose control and realize that dreams don't need control. We need something different and ethereal, something alien and known at the same time. It's a map of your soul and personality and the best way to confess what you feel to yourself. Just... Imagine a better world, beyond what we have, beyond life and love.
Dream #10 (@ImplicitDoom): Motherboard
In my hasty motor-vehicle, I enter the neon urbia. The city swallows me whole, and my eyes relish the landscape as my ears fill with a cacophony of sounds. My foot on the pedal, and eyes full of perseverance, I enter the maze. The pure bliss I feel killing my old self and leaving him in the snow is immeasurable. The ocean’s breeze is near, and so is where I wish to be, so I keep moving forward, in hopes that through this journey of lights and signs, I can find myself again. My destination I reach: Sand, Water, A clear view of the moon, I step out of my horse. As I approach the water, I see someone under with a familiar face and name. I cup my hands and store the mini waves in my palms, and then...down they go.
Dream #11 (@MikeOwen): Fragments of Time
I’m walking down a quiet street on a sunny day, funky electronic music playing on my cheap earphones. I’ve just nailed some important task, and now that it’s done I haven’t a care in the world. No more responsibilities, nothing to prepare for, just some much needed time for myself ahead. I can do whatever I like: “Our only plan is to improvise”.
I gently nod my head to the groove, and at one point break into a small dance. The weather’s miserable, but it seems like the sun is shining on me. A stranger walks past me, and greets me with a friendly, passing hello, as if he’s an old friend: “Familiar faces I've never seen”
I’m finally home, my sister puts the kettle on. I have a cup of tea and some digestives with my family, a simple pleasure that elevates and is elevated by my good mood. The first sip of the brew feels like a glorious synth solo on an upbeat track. I let out a sigh of satisfaction. This feeling of fulfillment won’t last forever, but I’ll make sure I’ll remember it:
“I'll just keep playing back
These fragments of time
Everywhere I go
These moments will shine
I'll just keep playing back
These fragments of time
These moments will shine”
Dream #12 (@MattsReviews): Doin’ It Right
I’m on the outskirts of Las Vegas, not really going out to the city. I’m not really a big fan of that environment out there. It’s crowded and filled with people I just don’t want to be around. I can hear the sounds of the city from here. The city was wild. Tonight, I wanted to try something different, so I decided to head down there.
To my surprise, it was much nicer than I thought it would be. I’m actually having a lot of fun. The people here are just really enjoyable to be around. I’m actually having the time of my life! No longer on the outside of the town, I’m finally out here! I’ve finally found-
What? Where am I? Oh.. It was a dream... There was just nothing. I’m still lonely and lacking a home. I guess I’ll just be looking down on the city through the outskirts forever..
Dream #13 (@MattsReviews): Contact
“Hey Bob I'm looking at what Jack was talking about
And it's definitely not a particle that's nearby
It is a bright object and it's obviously rotating because it's flashing
It's way out in the distance, certainly rotating in a very rhythmic fashion
Because the flashes come around almost on time
As we look back at the Earth it's up at about 11 o'clock
About maybe ten or twelve diameters
I don't know whether that does you any good
But there's something out there”
NASA has come in contact with an unknown spaceship. Who or what could it be? It looked like a craft that they could’ve made themselves, but the fashion it’s in is a little outdated. There were not clear intentions on where it could be going, or why it’s here, or even what it is. It seems like it’s slowly descending but it’s slowly going faster and faster down towards the Earth. Going through at the speed of lightning.
Do you remember Dr. Wallace? Let me give you a brief explanation if you don’t know already.
Dr. Wallace, age 30. Resides in California with his wife and kid. Employed as the Commander at NASA. He worked at his job for around 5 years and worked for the majority of his life to get to that point. Going through his ups and downs. Although, he everlastingly felt that there was something missing in his life. He wanted to start something new. He felt trapped in his own bubble for too long. Where could he go?
Well, I’ll tell you where he went. He went to space on his own spaceship. Abandoning his family all in one. Without any feeling of regret or sympathy. An impulsive decision that would have only gone wrong, that could’ve been easily prevented, but without any care in the world, he went anyway.
The weight of stress must’ve been on his shoulders. Being hated worldwide for stealing a multi-million dollar shuttle for your own enjoyment and abandoning your whole family in the process. Well, that didn’t stop him from coming back. He was offered to get back safely without facing repercussions as he’s finally realized what was more important in his life.
But that didn’t come as easy as expected. He came back to being arrested and put in prison for life. Not even able to see his family again as they never forgave him for his sins.
But what if I told you there was a different ending to that story? An ending that I never told?
Well. Wallace never made it back. As he went off back into space, the main engine just shut off. It hasn’t been run in so long or even checked, that I completely burnt out. Wallace was stuck in space and had no idea what to do. He’s already made it to top speeds, and it seemingly kept going faster and faster. Every system started shutting down, causing a fire to burn up the shuttle. The flames pierced his eyes. Everything around him was on fire. He couldn’t just leave the ship as that would end in his death, but he couldn’t just stay because that would also lead to the same thing. His life flashed before his eyes. He had nothing to do. He was increasingly coming faster and faster down to Earth.
Then he landed.
The story is still unknown on where he could be, or if he even survived. That’s for you to decide.
Thank you all for reading this review! All of the people involved worked very hard to put this out, and we hope you enjoyed it!
THANK YOU TO:
And last but not least:
Thank you for all the support in the last few months of me being on this site. I’ve been really enjoying every single second on this website, and you’ve all made it so much more enjoyable for me. Thank you all. To the new year of 2021, and Merry Christmas everyone!