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The Funk Back To The Punk

Daft Punk

I can't even believe that this album came out clear back in 1996 and this group really hasn't done a whole lot since that time. Will they be the one album wonders or will they eventually come back with another full-length release and surprise everyone once again? One thing is for sure, it's been so long now since they actually released something (besides their DVD release of videos) that there's inevitably going to be a lot of hype and talk about it.

When Homework came out, it confused a lot of people who bought it for the one single ("Da Funk") that they heard. It had a kickin' beat, a hella-catchy little acid-type sound winding through it, and just the right amount of old-school groove to make your head bob. To help matters, the group even got Spike Jonze to direct a completely absurdist video for the song and draw attention to the track even more. Not that it needed it, though, as "Da Funk" was pure ear butter. Next, the group dropped "Around The World" and if you hadn't been hooked by the group already, the vocordered vocals and blip-funk sound of the track had to drag you in and make you want to shake your groove thing.

Past those two tracks, though, is where things got a little wonky for most listeners. As the two catchiest and radio-friendly ones on the release, they were like the attractive nibble that enticed a lot of people to buy the album, then subsequently dislike the rest of the release. It's true that the rest of the disc isn't as immediately catchy, but over the course of nearly 75 minutes, the group shows that they're definitely not two-hit wonders. Sure, the release is fairly minimal and repetitive, but if you were listening closely at all to the above mentioned tracks, it's easy to realize that they were built on simple grooves as well, but still worked their magic.

Although there are a couple of tracks that come before it (including a small snippet of the track "Music," which can only be found on the "Da Funk" single), the album technically starts on the third track "Revolution 909." After starting out with some live crowd noise, it leaps off with a deep house beat and some funk type samples. They pretty much work the same sort of groove with the track "Phoenix," except they also through in a deep, rumbling bassline behind the entire track that makes you feel like rolling your hips and busting a move wherever you are at the time. The duo does kick things up a notch on "Rollin' And Scratchin," with a bit more boost behind the beat and an absolutely grinding screech of noise that grabs your ears upon first listen and pulls you in deeper and deeper as things progress.

Late in the album, the group gets a bit wallowed down at times (like on the repetitive "Rock'n Roll" that works a bit of wonky noise into things again, but without as much success) and the disco-house of "Burnin"), but it also kicks out some seriously solid tracks with "Alive" and "Indo Silver Club." Overall, it's a solid release that gave the whole French house movement it's jumpstart, and for good reason. It may be a little bit too repetitive for some listeners, but the beats are thick and the hooks are fun. Hopefully, they're working on something else.

Rating: 7.5