We're reviewing every song on Daft Punk's Random Access Memories today. Stay tuned for our take on all 13 tracks on the Robots' latest masterwork!
Back in 2001, when both artists were at the peak of their popularity and acclaim, it would be virtually inconceivable to think that Daft Punk and Julian Casablancas (of New York alt-rock demigods The Strokes) would do a song together. But in the meantime, Casablancas has gotten a little more synth-pop, and DP have gotten a little more rock and roll, and now a collaboration between the two of them doesn't sound so jarring, conceptually or practically--in fact, "Instant Crush" sounds almost exactly halfway between where the two artists are right now, and not an awkward stretch of any kind on anyone's part.
So what does that midway point sound like? Well, it's a tense, midtempo groove vaguely reminiscent of the Alan Parsons Project's '80s prog-pop hit "Eye in the Sky," with Casablancas working out his hushed falsetto as he did for much of the recent Comedown Machine LP, though auto-tuned to the point of sounding Daft Punk-esque. It's not until the chorus releases into a pop/rock burst that things become recognizably Strokesian, Casablancas singing flusteredly about a relationship over a synth two-step.
A 2001 collab between Daft Punk and Julian Casablancas undoubtedly would've seemed like the future of music. In 2013, it'll have to settle for being a kind-of-cool pop song.
POPDUST SAYS: 3.5/5