Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Daft Punk: Alive 2007 [Virgin, 2007]
Wondering how I'd missed these guys, I replayed Discovery, which I'd panned hard in 2001, and enjoyed the hooks recycled here more than I did at the time. But, sonically, I still couldn't take it. I believe the tour was awesome--the videos prove it. But they also suggest why the band chooses not to DVD its world conquest--too much scale, flesh and bodily effluvia would be lost. Better this big fat earworm, which translates crowd noises into music and establishes how much bigger the band's electronics got when put to the arena-rock test. Deconstructing and recontextualizing their tune stock "mais oui," these robot wannabes bathed the unwashed in the blood of the synthesizer, broadening and lowering sounds that in their original substantiations owe not just Detroit techno but Ramada Inn lounge. Humanistic after all. A-