RAM is overrated in my opinion, and I am a big Daft fan. Spun Homework and Discovery on my record player countless times.
First, the album doesn't flow well. It feels like 13 tracks put together without much thought to the progression of the album. I think it is probably so disjointed due to the fact there are so many collaborators, which makes it seem more like a compilation than an album.
Next, there is far too much filler, so many tracks just sound overly similar and seem to be borrowing ideas from Discovery. Check 'Within',
'The Game of Love', 'Beyond' etc. They somewhat have the 70s vibe which the album is said to be chasing, but they lack the magic that the similar-ish tracks from Discovery had that them made so amazing. Tracks like Digital Love, Something About Us grab you from the first listen and compel you to want to listen more. The R.A.M. tracks completely lack this. These are just mediorce 6-7/10 tracks, in my opinion. There is nothing really that much that stands out that I couldn't find elsewhere. They also seem to float one idea the whole track, which is ok, but when the original idea isn't that good to begin with, it doesn't sound very interesting. i.e. 'Within'.
Third, the vocoder use. It worked on the first three albums, but I don't think it works on R.A.M. They seem to be throwing it in to leave their mark on the track so it sounds like Daft i.e. Lose Yourself to Dance. The vocoder is completely unnecessary in that track and ruins it for me. Not to mention the lyrics themselves in that track: 'cmon cmon cmon' and 'get your body on the floor'... I mean seriously??
Some tracks I have no idea what the f*ck they wanted to do, like 'Touch' and 'Instant Crush', I don't really like them, but they are ok at what they do so I'll leave it at that. (This is not a criticism, just an opinion/statement). Another little observation I might add is on Motherboard. It sounds remarkably like something from Phillip Glass' Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack, maybe Resource/Vessels. Have a listen on youtube and you'll see what I mean. Those clarinet?/flute? sounds around 2:10 or so sound identical.
Now to the two songs that flat out suck donkey balls. These happen to be the last two songs.
Doin' It Right is an absolutely awful track, the worst on the album in my opinion by far. I seriously cannot even begin nor want to imagine what possessed them to think having that generic 808 drum machine sound was a good idea. I mean, this is the same sound you hear on a lil wayne track or whatever. I can only hope that somehow that useless 'panda bear' convinced them to use it. And the vocals.... surely they could have come up with something just a little bit more creative than that.
Next is contact, the collaboration with DJ Falcon whom I admire and it was one of the tracks I was looking forward to the most. Turns out, it is a massive flop and the use of real drums leaves it sounding like a big mess. It's clear they wanted this to be a 'big' track like something you might hear on Alive 2007 but this track just builds to nothing and sounds like a f*ck up. I actually like the synth melody they used, it's perfect for what they wanted but the execution is downright awful.
Now the positives, the mix and mastering are very nice, it all sounds quite clean, the kicks have a nice midrange pop to them and the guitars are really well placed in the mix. Also, I don't think any lover of real music can say that they don't appreciate what Daft are trying to do here, using their name and influence to try and bring some of the soul and groove back into modern EDM and showing that it doesn't have to be made on a computer.
I'll finish up by rating the tracks.
Give Life Back To Music: 7.5/10
The Game of Love: 6/10
Giorgio By Moroder: 8.5/10
Instant Crush: 6.5/10
Lose Yourself To Dance: 7/10
Get Lucky: 7.5/10
Fragments of Time: 6.5/10
Doin' It Right: 0/10
Edited by JuventusFC, 16 May 2013 - 12:57 PM.