Daft Punk - 5 Reasons Why 'Random Access Memories' Was Overrated

daft_punk_random_access_memories_by_jaspah13-d5z75j52 Over the coming weeks the annual glut of end-of-year 'Best Of' lists will undoubtedly begin to saturate the pages of websites, magazines and newspapers far and wide. Within the context of popular music these lists serve not only to canonise the tastes of particular institutions and individuals, be they journalists, retailers, artists or fans, but also function as useful subjects of debate within the confines of many a blog, music forum or pub corner. At a time when keeping abreast of every new release, even within a particular genre, is virtually impossible due to the sheer volume of music digitally available at little or no cost (and with swathes of recorded material either forgotten after a solitary listen or else failing to find an audience altogether) the end-of-year list offers a timely and highly rewarding opportunity to take momentary shelter from the cultural deluge, switch on our record players, iPods and laptops, and attempt to evaluate the year in sound. Predicting which albums will appear in end-of-year lists can be a tricky yet enjoyable task, though it stands to reason that the coterie of musicians whose work has garnered widespread praise over a period of months should be there or thereabouts. At the time of writing, among the most likely records to dominate 2013's lists is Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' (henceforth 'RAM'). Perhaps surprisingly, given the high-profile nature of the record, coupled with the whirlwind of hype which preceded its entry into the world back in May, RAM seems to have disappointed very few critics. Early reviews across a diverse range of leading publications were highly positive - The NME (10/10), Pitchfork (8.8/10), Q (5/5), FACT (4/5), Resident Advisor (4/5) - and dissenting voices in the established music press have remained few and far between ever since. However, the response across social media, on music forums, and from Daft Punk's contemporaries within the field of electronic music has been rather more ambivalent to say the least. With the objective of questioning dominant critical readings of the record and in order to expand upon some of the issues raised online by Daft Punk's peers and a proportion of their fan base, this article provides five reasons why, for this writer at least, RAM should feature on only one end-of-year list: 'The Most Disappointing Albums of 2013'.
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Paul O'Reilly is a teacher, writer and music producer from the north of England. His writing on contemporary music has been published by a number of websites and his film criticism has appeared in several academic journals. He is an unapologetic supporter of Manchester United, loves coffee, Diet coke and sandwiches, and has an entirely rational hatred of both Piers Morgan and those mawkish, piano-led cover versions that appear on television commercials during the lead up to Christmas.