Daft Punk

Human After All (Virgin)

How beloved are Daft Punk's Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter? So much so that some of their fans argue, in apparent seriousness, that the lads purposefully set out to make their new album second-rate in order to illustrate their theory that dehumanization is stripping society of its finest qualities. As a result, they believe, the disc's weaknesses should be embraced as conceptual master strokes, rather than be ridiculed as examples of creative missteps.

Yeah, sure. The latest effort is consistently listenable, yet even relatively catchy tunes like "Robot Rock," "Steam Machine" and "Technologic" feel generic, like tracks commissioned by advertisers who want "the Daft Punk sound" but are too cheap to hire the actual group to provide it. Moreover, the Daft duo's allegedly brilliant theme doesn't exactly brim with originality. Anyone shocked by the revelation that "Television Rules the Nation" will probably also be stunned to learn that Bill Gates has done pretty well for himself.

If the CD proves anything, it's that the Punkers are Human After All.

 
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