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Daft Punk’s “Discovery”: A Retrospective Review

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The year was 2001. I was in 7th grade and received my first computer that Christmas. Needless to say I was ecstatic. Without a doubt It was one of the best gifts I had received since I was given my SNES back in 1992. I could not wait to get this baby hooked so I could get on that wild frontier known as the Internet. A week later the guy from the Internet company arrived and It then happened, I was in all my glory and it forever changed me.

A few weeks after we were connected I came across a site that I heard about from schoolmates, a site full of offensive cartoons, games where you could kill celebrities, and a fan base that could only be described as a parent’s worst nightmare. Yeah, if you haven’t guessed it by now, it was Newgrounds. I entered the website for the first time one night and couldn’t believe what I saw. There was all kinds of perverted humor, violent games, and video game parodies out the ass. To my early teenage mind it was a dream come true. Then I came across one particular video.

The video in question was called “Work It!” It was a simple project that used video game sprites from the NES classic “River City Ransom.” However It wasn’t full of crude humor or extreme violence. No, it was just a little dancing sprite video and it made me smile. Over an entire week I watched it at least once a night, but it dawned on me one night that it wasn’t just the video that made me come back every night for it. It was the song! What was that song though? I listened to it all those times and didn’t even know the song! Then I saw it in the video, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk.

I had to have that album but I didn’t even know where to get it. Wal-Mart in my town didn’t have it. K-Mart in my town didn’t have it. My town didn’t even have a damn music store at the time. I gave up. I figured I would never find this damn album! I needed to move on.

After giving up on my search I went back to my daily routine of being a stupid youth. Part of that routine consisted of spending time at my good friends house, and he had something I didn’t at the time, Cartoon Network. He would always show me episodes of “Ed, Edd, & Eddy” or an episode of DBZ that I missed. There was one particular night I remember the most though.

We are sitting there and he had a VHS tape in his hand. It was around this time he was starting to introduce me to stuff that was on Toonami’s night block, which was a block dedicated to adult oriented anime and for a short while they would also show animated music videos. He pops the VHS in and told me I had to watch this music video.  Then I hear the beat of “One More Time” start and I was instantly hooked. I had him rewind the tape several times. The beat was dance inducing, the singing was catchy, and the music video was pure awesome. I turn to my friend and asked “who is this and why don’t we own their album?” He looks back at me and just goes “some band called Daft Punk.”

I sat there for a second and just laughed to myself. They came back. The band I couldn’t find came back and the urge came back. I had to have this album! Now comes the sad part. I never got the album because I became a poseur metal head, not a metal head but a poseur metal head. I couldn’t even tell you how it happened. Point being, I totally forgot about those catchy tunes I looked up and down for only a few short months earlier. So, what happens next?

Seven whole years go by. Yeah, I know, it was a big jump. Listen, if I sat here and wrote my entire life up until I finally listened to the album in whole I could spin it into a sitcom and sell it to CBS, but that’s just crazy talk. Anyway, seven years go by. I am now working as a lowly part time electronics associate at Wal-Mart. I was bored from not doing work I was supposed to be doing, so I decided to browse the CD section. There it was, just sitting there for 5 dollars. In big bold liquid like lettering were the words “Daft Punk”. I just stood there for a second and just said “fuck it.” After work I went over the CDs, picked it up, and took it up front to buy it.

When I came home and I headed straight for my room, plugged in my headphones, popped the CD in to my player, and just sat back and listened. The first track starts and those familiar beats of “One More Time” start blaring out of my headset. I went into a full trance. That was the first time I ever listened to the album as a whole, yet it felt so familiar. I just sat there for the album’s entirety and let it all soak in. It was like listening to nostalgia almost. Yeah, I only ever head two songs off the album at that point, but it didn’t matter. It was still nostalgia to me.

After the 60 minutes were up I took off my headphones and set them on top of my player. It was exactly what I hoped for. The beats were catchy and memorable and the whole album just felt alive. I know techno/house albums have a tendency to blend together, but not with Daft Punk. No, Daft Punk knows how to make an album. They blend so many genres together which forms such a unique sound that I could easily pick them out in a mix of any other techno artist.

The sad part in all of this is I lost my CD copy of the album. I know I can just buy another one, but I held that with such sentimental value that I was upset about it. I have moved around a lot since then so who knows what could have happened to it.

I know you are all thinking “Hey jackass! This isn’t a fuckin’ review! Boo! Zero Stars!” and you would be right, this isn’t a review per say. I wanted to give you all just a taste on how music shaped me. How it affected my life in some way or form. I could just write you a standard review in the lines of “this album was awesome go buy it now blah blah, “but I didn’t want to with this one. This album I actually hold pretty dear to my heart for various reason and just couldn’t bring myself to just “writing a review” on it. I will end on this though. If you haven’t heard of Daft Punk or this album then you must check it out. You might not have the same feelings that I have towards it, but I will guarantee that it’s a worthwhile listen. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Get it on iTunes: Discovery – Daft Punk

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About The Author
Charles Campbell
Charles Campbell

I listen to music, write about music, and complain about new music…mostly.

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