Alive 2007- Daft Punk: A Retrospect
It's been exactly almost one year to the day that Daft Punk announced their disbandment. Since that day, I have listened to two albums quire frequently: 2013's Random Access Memories which would shape to be their final album, and Alive 2007. Alive 2007 is the live recording of the Paris stop (we'll call it their homecoming) on Daft Punk's Alive 2006/2007 tour, their final stretch of live shows. This tour, even fifteen years later, continues to live in infamy and it's influence is incredibly widespread. From the pyramid in which they played their music (think of Deadmau5' cube) to the iconic robot helmets (think of Malaa or Marshmello), this tour quite literally laid the blueprint for the modern, large scale electronic show and tour. The fact that they were also such a hard catch makes it that much more of a mystery to those of us who were too young to experience it.
This was the ultimate (and actually, not final) career renaissance for the trailblazing duo. 2005 saw the release of their third album, Human After All, which received a lukewarm response with critics saying it felt very soulless, or run of the mill. Many felt that they had lost touch with what made them so unique in their first two albums, Homework and Discovery. Since I was only 12 at the time, I can't really imagining me listening to it and scoffing, but what I did know back in that time was that "Technologic" was a banger and a half (I memorized all the words in 7th grade). The bass-drop in track two of Alive 2007, "Touch It/Technologic" as the "buy it, use it, break it, fix it...." punches you in the face is goose-bump inducing to say the least.
The way this live album plays out like a "who's who" of Daft Punk's discography of their first three albums is fun in itself, but what really makes it stand out is how they seamlessly integrate the songs together. Throughout the almost, 90 minutes of the album, there is no low point, no lull, not a single point worth skipping. A standout integration of two songs between two albums into one track is the fifth track, "Around the World/Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." One of my favorite moments in the entire album is the build of "Work It, Make It, Do It, Makes Us" over the repetitive "Around the world, Around the wooooorld" into a drop that I can only imagine was earth shattering when seeing it in person.
Often times, you can hear the audience cheering so loudly, knowing they are experiencing something so unique, but possibly not knowing how far the influence of that night will reach in the world of music. Daft Punk walked so any large scale house show with mesmerizing lights could run. Though it's true that we are never getting anything new from them, and the likely hood of another live show is almost 0, what we are left with from Alive 2007 is a mixtape of Daft Punk at their best, and the show we can imagine in our heads, having wished we could have experienced it.
There's a reason this is my second favorite album of all time.