Album Review: Daft Punk – “Discovery”

Daft Punk’s Discovery was released in 2001, and it produced some of the duo’s best-known songs (“One More Time,” “Harder Better Faster, Stronger,” and “Digital Love”).  The album would later serve as a kind of “soundtrack” for the 2003 anime film, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.  Since seeing this anime, I can’t help but see the visuals from the piece when I listen to the album.

The album opens with “One More Time,” which is an upbeat dance song.  My kids love to get up and dance to this one when they hear it.  “One More Time” is also the duo’s most commercially successful song.  Next on the album is “Aerodynamic,” an instrumental that’s even more upbeat than “One More Time”; it also features a rather prominent guitar part.

The next song on Discovery is “Digital Love,” which is more of a mid-tempo number compared to the previous two tracks.  It’s a great song, but I think most people tend to remember it more for the fact that it was used in a GAP television ad.  This is followed by “Harder, Faster, Stronger, Harder.”  This song picks the pace of the album back up, and it features lyrics that aren’t necessarily done in a “traditional” sense.  This is one of my favorite songs from the album.  “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” was also sampled and used as the basis for the Kanye West song, “Stronger.”

“Crescendolls” is a song that is primarily an instrumental, when a very minimal amount of vocal included.  It’s another upbeat number, and one that it’s hard to resist dancing to when you hear it.  “Nightvision” is a rather slower instrumental piece, and it is also the shortest song on Discovery; it clocks in at one minute and forty-four seconds.  This tends to be a song on the album that I don’t listen to very much.

Next on the album is “Superheroes,” which picks the pace of the album back up quite a back.  Like “Crescendolls,” it only features a very minimal amount of vocals.  “High Life” is the next song on the album, it sounds a lot like something you might hear at a fashion show runway.  It’s another upbeat track with only a minimal amount of vocals.  “Something About Us” is another slow song; however, unlike “Nightvision,” this song contains vocals and is a more significant length.

“Voyager” is a mid-tempo instrumental piece.  Unfortunately, this particular piece is rather repetitive-sounding for the most part, so at nearly four minutes in length, it can be hard to listen to.  This tends to be a song on Discovery that I don’t listen to very much.  “Veridis Quo” is a slower instrumental piece, and it clocks in at five minutes and forty-four seconds.

“Short Circuit” really picks the pack of the album back up after the previous two songs.  It’s another instrumental piece, but it’s a much more interesting listen than either “Voyager” or “Veridis Quo.”  The next song is “Face to Face,” which is an upbeat song with vocals.  The last song on Discovery is “Too Long,” which is the longest track on the album; it clocks in at ten minutes.  “Too Long” is not a bad song, but some listeners may find themselves joking that the song was appropriately titled, due to its length.

Overall, Discovery is a well-produced and solid album.  In fact, I believe that it’s the most “pop friendly” album in Daft Punk’s catalog.  It’s an album that can be enjoyed by fans of electronic music, as well as by people who enjoy the Interstella 5555 anime film.  I would also recommend Discovery as an album to listen to in order to help introduce new listeners to electronic music.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Discovery that I purchased as a gift for my husband.

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