One of the most mysterious and popular artists in the music industry today, Daft Punk is the quintessential dance act in the world. French house duo DP have released four full length albums and two live albums since 1997. Having won multiple Grammies along with a multitude of other rewards, there is no question as to whether they deserve any of the success and fame they have garnered. For some artists staying active is the only way for them to remain relevant, but for DP it seems to be the exact opposite. Having not performed a full live set since 2007, the electronic duo is long overdue for a return to the live stage. Unfortunately this does not seem to be a top priority for the two producers and the closest you can get is to listen to their 2007 live album titled, Alive 2007. This is one of my favorite live albums ever recorded and with only one listen you will understand why. To honor how much joy this album has given me I have decided to write a special album review on the greatest electronic live recording ever.
Released on November 19th 2007, Alive 2007 is an album recorded entirely during one of DP’s performances in Bercy, Paris in June of that same year. It became such a hit that it ended up winning the Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2009. Receiving critical acclaim from fans and critics alike, the album is a perfect mixture of what DP had accomplished up to that point in their careers. The whole entire set was essentially a beautifully remixed version of their first three albums. Each of the twelve tracks combined one of their tracks with another that makes it sound as if you are there in the crowd. Like many live albums you can hear the crowd cheering and screaming at the beginning of each song. I actually enjoy the interaction of the crowd because it makes the whole album feel more alive(no pun intended). It transports you into the thick of the action and gives you a sense of how talented DP is in a live setting.
The album starts off with the combination of “Robot Rock/Oh Yeah” that is a bass heavy affair and is quickly followed by the second single released off of Human After All, “Technologic” remixed with Busta Rhymes’s “Touch It” to get the party really going. The bass seems to be a favorite of DP in concert and this does not change until around track five, when the duo mixes together two of their most danceable singles “Around The World/Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”. A crushing mix of tracks that hit hard and don’t let up until you are forced to move. This segue’s into the funky sounding electronic pop of “Burnin/Too Long”, which after a gratuitous pause for the adoring cheers of the crowd skips slowly into “Face To Face/ Short Circuit” that picks up speed at a gradual pace before a laid back beat replaces the commonly expected drop. Track eight starts off with the foreboding toll of bells that starts off the joyous, upbeat and extremely well received “One More Time/ Aerodynamic”. This is quickly followed by the four-way remix of “The Prime Time Of Your Life/ The Brainwasher/ Rollin And Scratchin/ Alive”.
Not done just yet DP saves some of the most exhilarating tracks for last as “Da Funk/ Dadftendirekt” kicks up a slow electronic groove that makes for a perfect introduction to the second to last song. “Superheroes/ Human After All/ Rock’n Roll” close out DP’s main set with a distorted yet fast paced dance romp. However as insane as this is it does not even come close to the almost ten minute grand finale that the duo drops to finish off their set. Every band knows that the encore of a show is when you let everything go and try to end the performance in style. DP certainly understands this as they close their set with a bang. A massive remix of “Human After All/ Together/ One More Time/ Music Sounds Better With You” signals the end of one of the best live shows around and one damn good live album. If you take anything from this album review, besides how great DP is, then understand that DP was ahead of the competition in terms of artistic style and performing in the electronic music scene. They are still around and relevant, but I believe that their shows in 2007 will be hard to beat even if they do perform on stage in the near future. Alive 2007, is one of the best concert recordings of a band you will ever hear and it gives you even more appreciation for the legendary dance duo that has become one of the most loved acts in the world.
Final Grade: A