Daft Punk Human After All

Because of their snail-paced work schedule, Daft Punk — arguably mainstream dance music’s most innovative force — make every record a painful anticipation. Separating their three albums with four year gaps, the mysterious French duo are known for pulling rabbits out of hats with their fresh approach to music making. Becoming superstars with both a club and commercial chart hit in 2000 with "One More Time,” Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have taken a step back from the electro-pop experiments of Discovery. Human After All is not a drastic change in direction by any means, but it does get stuck an awful lot in repeat mode. Each song follows the same humdrum formula, building to a climax and sticking with it till it reaches an ending. It’s hard to deny there isn’t any pleasure on the record as most songs are drenched in hook-filled electro disco boogie, like the Giorgio Moroder-inspired ballad "Make Love” and the album’s standout track and one of their best moments to date, "The Prime Time of Your Life.” Human After All is however a disappointment for the quality of work Daft Punk have always provided. While it’s a forgivable and often enjoyable record, you can’t help but feel letdown that it took them four years and that this isn’t the record to rejuvenate a struggling genre constantly let down by its heroes. (Virgin)