They may present an image of faceless androids, but Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo are always about the interface between technology and emotion – and RAM is their most emotional record yet. Because though the vocodered vocals frequently put android futurism front and centre, it was recorded using more actual flesh-and-blood human beings than any previous Daft Punk release.
One thing RAM is – and it is many things – is a love letter. A heartfelt epistle expressing their love affair with music, and above all, with disco. And it's reciprocal and requited: the two towering gods of the genre, Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, both appear on the album.
Now and then the emphasis shifts to evoke an eternal 1984. Sometimes entire tracks are given over to incidental music. Glorious moments include the Stylophone solo on the Hall & Oates-like "Fragments of Time", and "Doin' It Right", on which Animal Collective's Panda Bear delivers lines as simple and utopian as anything on "One More Time".
It ends with a curio called "Contact", but by then Random Access Memories has done its job. It's an album which makes you feel warm. It's the sound of love, after all.