Formats and Editions
HUMAN AFTER ALL, created between September and November of 2004 at the group's home studio in Paris, takes dance and club music to a whole new level. Deftly straddling the line between organic and technological expertise, the album finds Daft Punk once again breaking down barriers between musical genres, Techno, Pop, Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop; in the process, they have forged a totally new sound, a musical accompaniment for every aspect of our lives.
Funny how "human" can mean both "emotionally sentient" and "mortally imperfect." Funnier still that Daft Punk fit the former just fine when they pretended to be robots for their immaculately affecting, gut-level starry-eyed classic albums, Homework and Discovery, yet fall with a clank into the latter once they admit their humanity (or fallibility) here. Funniest of all: they play out more robotic than ever. The brilliance of earlier songs like "Da Funk" or "Aerodynamic" hinged on juggled hooks and perfectly-timed rhythmic tweaks even as they kept a consistent groove; the Breakwater-plundering "Robot Rock" and autopilot doom-glam "Television Rules the Nation" pound promising riffs into the ground without any attempt to expand on the rhythm. And the record's grittier, more industrial tone is a miserable fit; dripping with '91-vintage NIN residue, fake-goth strip-club smarm, "The Brainwasher" and "Steam Machine" sound like rejects from Thomas Bangalter's oppressive score for the rape-revenge flick Irreversible. By the time listeners are confronted with the third or fourth repetition of the "farting Dalek" filter that smothers the title track, schaffel-veeta "The Prime Time of Your Life" and Sanrio-kitsch "Technologic," the temptation arises to wish Asimov had created a fourth law of robotics related to diminishing returns.