Daft Punk Alive 1997

This French duo's latest release, Discovery, was a fine album but came nowhere close to capturing the essence Daft Punk left on club-goers with their debut, Homework. To release a live Daft Punk album is a great idea, and the fact that they've chose to unleash a taping of a November 1997 show from Birmingham is even better. Tracks that the pair throw onto the crowd include "classics" such as "Da Funk," which makes the audibly noticeable crowd cheer with delight, producing a craving that makes you wish you were there to join them on the dance floor. The pair venture off into some electronic tinkering before ripping into "Rolling and Scratching" - one of their more insane tracks to date, so one can imagine how they tear it apart and intensify it live. Thomas and Guy-Manuel continue to weave and chop up their tracks amongst various freestyle beats, creating an ass-shaking blend of thumping tunes and only slowing things down for the purpose of rebuilding the funked-out beats. The only thing that might be lacking from this live experience are more recognisable songs, such as "Revolution 909" and "Phoenix," instead of only a couple familiar tracks that are present - an addition that could have easily increased the goose bump factor. Alive 1997 is definitely a good dose of Daft Punk as a non-stop experience, and a time to reminisce of better days for those who weren't feeling their last record. (Virgin)