After months of teasers, fake tours, and endless speculation, Daft Punk has finally pulled the curtain off of their lead single from Random Access Memories. “Get Lucky,” the famed collab with Nile Rodgers and Pharrell has been at the center of everyones attention after spots on SNL, a video preview at Coachella that looks like it blasted straight out of the space-age, and a collaboration series on YouTube where we learn, pretty explicitly, that Pharrell was drugged after recording his two songs so that he could “listen with fresh ears” (Yeah, it’s awesome). Now that the real version is finally here, it’s time for a proper review.
The tune marks the end of their 8 year absence from the world of dance music, and it’s dearly needed. Amidst homogenized “EDM” and fears about the industry’s survival, The Robots are returning as the saviors of a lost time. For “Get Lucky,” they’re trying to redefine “dance music,” or at least fluidize it. It doesn’t build up, and it certainly doesn’t drop. Daft Punk’s too good for that; they’ve moved on. Instead, they’re looking ahead, funnily enough, by bringing us back to the dance floors of Saturday Night Fever, where all you need is a groove. And what a groove they bring: Pharrell’s R&B vocals paired up with Rodgers’ riffing play like a Bee Gee’s song, but the classic vocoders play just in time to remind us who the geniuses behind the track are.
On top of the actual song, even the music video captures that futuristic nostalgia so perfectly. The scene: four of them grooving out in front of a sparkling space-scape, studded out in the Saint Laurent-Daft Punk Smoking Jackets, breathes the essence of the tune: light years ahead of its time, but somehow looking back into the past all the while.
And amidst the flurry of activity, Daft Punk manages to stay classic, even as they shake the stigma of the “Daft Punk” sound. At its rawest, it’s distinctively Daft, but it isn’t One More Time or Around The World. It’s much subtler; much more real (this album focused heavily on instrumental recordings, as opposed to computerized production). It’s not a wave washing over you, it’s an a unshakeable funk seeping into your bones.
It’s going to be interesting, though, to see how this powerhouse gets played out over the summer. On one hand, it’s arguably the best dance song to come out in the past couple of years. On the other, it doesn’t have a lick of the festival feel kids are begging for these days. I can’t call it for sure, but judging by the dance world’s reception of the track this past week, I think we have the biggest hit of the summer on our hands. So get ready, because Daft Punk may have just changed the game (no pun intended).