Random Access Memories
It’s happened more than once, but RAM is an example in a rare category: finding your heroes, recreating their styles, and somehow getting it right. All the soft rock from the Seventies that the vaporwave kids chopped up, Nile Rodgers’ crystal cheese grater, Giorgio Moroder’s ruby red sequencer, the hungover chug of the Strokes—why not make it into one album? And so les boys did just that, and it was a hit and it worked and they…broke up? The more time passes, the more it feels like a real G move, exiting on a peak (which is less rare). At the time, it looked like nothing on the album could match the chemical epiphanies of “Get Lucky,” and so things felt lopsided. Given time, the album feels entirely rounded, or more than rounded. Do you not want Paul Williams breathing poetry at you, or Giorgio Moroder doing a fireside chat about his life? Did you skip the late album dreamer, “Doin’ It Right,” maybe the best thing Panda Bear will ever do? It’s all so savagely well-done, finely tweaked and multitrack tasty-caked. What is it? Rock disco for the plane to white collar prison? South of France supermarket soul? We’ll never know. Bonne nuit, les hommes.