Human After All

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Human After All
Studio album by Daft Punk
Released March 14, 2005 (2005-03-14)
Recorded September 13 – November 9, 2004[1]
Daft House (Paris, France)
Genre Dance-rock[2]
Length 45:33
Label Toshiba-EMI (Japan)
VJCP 68735 (CD)

Virgin
V2996 (UK 2LP)
CDV2996 (UK CD)
63562 (U.S. CD)
Producer Daft Punk, Cédric Hervet, Gildas Loaëc
Daft Punk chronology
Daft Club
(2003)
Human After All
(2005)
Musique Vol. 1 1993–2005
(2006)
Singles from Human After All
  1. "Robot Rock"
    Released: April 11, 2005
  2. "Technologic"
    Released: June 14, 2005
  3. "Human After All"
    Released: October 31, 2005
  4. "The Prime Time of Your Life"
    Released: June 17, 2006

Human After All is the third studio album by French duo Daft Punk, first released on March 14, 2005 internationally and a day later in the United States. With it, the duo took a minimalistic and improvisational approach to their music with a mixture of guitars and electronics.[3][4] A remix album called Human After All: Remixes was later released exclusively in Japan. Human After All was Daft Punk's last studio album released under Virgin Records.

The album received mixed reviews noting its reported six-week creation, which is particularly short compared to previous albums Discovery and Homework.[5] The singles "Robot Rock" and "Technologic" charted in several countries while the title track "Human After All" charted in France. The songs would later be incorporated into Daft Punk's Alive 2006/2007 tour to critical acclaim.[6] Human After All reached number one on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart, and was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album.

Background[edit]

Daft Punk considered Human After All to be their favorite of the three studio albums they had created at that point, and regard it as "pure improvisation."[7] An early press release stated that the record would "[retain] their trademark Daft Punk sound, this time with a more spontaneous and direct quality to the recording".[3] Human After All's brief creation and minimal production had been decided upon beforehand as counterpoint to their previous album. As Thomas Bangalter of the duo stated, "We were definitely seduced at the time by the idea of doing the opposite of Discovery."[7] He compared the deliberately unpolished record to "a stone that's unworked."[8] Human After All was created primarily with two guitars, two drum machines, a vocoder and one eight-track machine.[4] Furthermore it was produced in two weeks and mixed in four, a session in sharp contrast to their older material.[9]

Bangalter has stated that the album is an attempt to discover where human feelings reside in music.[10] He later commented that "we felt like the third album was about this feeling of either fear or paranoia... [The record is] not something intended to make you feel good".[11] Bangalter felt that Human After All and the film Daft Punk's Electroma are both "extremely tormented and sad and terrifying looks at technology, yet there can be some beauty and emoting from it."[12] He acknowledged the perceived mechanical quality of the record, but felt that it expressed "the dance between humanity and technology".[4]

As Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo noted, "Every album we’ve done is tightly linked with our lives. [...] The internal, personal stuff Thomas went through during Human After All made it closer to where he was at the time".[13] When questioned on the positive reaction to the use of the tracks in Daft Punk's Alive 2006/2007 tour, Bangalter expressed that, "Human After All was the music we wanted to make at the time we did it. We have always strongly felt there was a logical connection between our three albums, and it's great to see that people seem to realize that when they listen now to the live show."[14]

The cover image of Human After All features the Daft Punk logo displayed on a television screen. Each single from the album ("Robot Rock", "Technologic, "Human After All" and "The Prime Time of Your Life") features a cover with a different image on a similar screen. This television theme is also expressed with tracks from the album, including "On/Off" and "Television Rules the Nation". Bangalter cited the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell as an inspiration for the record.[15]

Release and promotion[edit]

When the album was leaked on the Internet several months before release, fans speculated that it was a fake designed to foil online filesharing.[16] Human After All on compact disc was embedded with the Copy Control protection system in some regions. Spin recalled that the official album release was ill timed, as it occurred after the end of the "major-label electronica movement" of the 1990s, but before the rise of independent dance labels such as DFA Records and Ed Banger.[17] The Japan edition of the album artwork features a quote from Daft Punk stating: "We believe that Human After All speaks for itself." At the time of release, the duo refused to be interviewed; they felt that using the media to explain the album would run contrary to the album's theme regarding the media as an oppressive force. De Homem-Christo later felt that choosing to be silent was the worst decision they had ever made.[15]

The Alive 2006/2007 tour, which featured tracks from Human After All, caused people to reconsider what they felt about the album.[6][14] Pedro Winter, Daft Punk's manager at the time, stated, "When we put out Human After All, I got a lot of bad feedback, like, 'It's so repetitive. There's nothing new. Daft Punk used to be good.' Then they came back with the light show, and everyone shut their mouths... People even apologized, like, 'How could we have misjudged Daft Punk?' The live show changed everything. Even if I'm part of it, I like to step back and admire it. Me, I cried."[18] The first single "Robot Rock" received moderate attention, reaching #32 in the UK and #15 on the U.S. dance charts, but was not a major hit.[19][20] The second single "Technologic" only hit #40 in the UK but did considerably better in airplay.[21] The track has also been featured on The O.C. and in an iPod commercial. A sample of the song was used as the chorus for Busta Rhymes' single "Touch It". The title track "Human After All" reached #93 in France.[22]

Daft Punk directed the music videos for the songs "Robot Rock" and "Technologic" while Tony Gardner directed the video for "The Prime Time of Your Life". The duo intended to make a video for the song "Human After All" as well, but the footage they shot for it was expanded to create the film Daft Punk's Electroma instead.[23] Songs from Human After All also appear in the Daft Punk compilation Musique Vol. 1 1993–2005 and the live album Alive 2007, the duo's last release under Virgin Records. In a 2008 interview, de Homem-Christo stated that the duo were then free of all record contracts.[24] Daft Punk would later pursue one-time contracts with Walt Disney Records and Columbia.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[26]
Blender 2.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly C[27]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[28]
Mojo 4/5 stars[29]
NME 7/10[30]
Pitchfork Media 4.9/10[31]
Q 2/5 stars[32]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[33]
Spin C–[34]

Human After All received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 57, based on 28 reviews.[5] In his review for Blender magazine, Simon Reynolds said that Discovery's blissful and "open-hearted" music is replaced by "an archly ironic dance-rock that feels desultory and numb verging on autistic."[2] Q magazine felt that it lacks the "fun" of Daft Punk's previous work.[32] Barry Walters of Rolling Stone said that the duo generally "repeats rather than elaborates its riffs", and that they "exaggerate their band's own robotic tendencies here, much to the detriment of its grooves."[33] Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian called the album "a joyless collection of average ideas stretched desperately thin."[28] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice graded the album a "dud",[35] indicating "a bad record whose details rarely merit further thought."[36]

In a positive review, Matthew Weiner of Stylus Magazine stated, "it's the same story, track after track, willfully mistaking alternation for variation, intensification for development and dynamics. In other words, a shining example of pop songcraft in the 21st century."[37] Mojo magazine said that it "strips out the most flamboyant frills to create a more incisive sound."[29] Human After All was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album.[38]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Human After All"   5:19
2. "The Prime Time of Your Life"   4:23
3. "Robot Rock" (Bangalter, de Homem-Christo, Kae Williams) 4:47
4. "Steam Machine"   5:22
5. "Make Love"   4:48
6. "The Brainwasher"   4:08
7. "On/Off"   0:19
8. "Television Rules the Nation"   4:47
9. "Technologic"   4:44
10. "Emotion"   6:57
  • "Robot Rock" features sampled portions of "Release the Beast" performed by Breakwater.

Personnel[edit]

  • Daft Punk – guitars, drum machines, sampling, vocoders, keyboards, vocals, programming, production
  • Cédric Hervet – production coordination
  • Gildas Loaëc – production coordination
  • Nilesh "Nilz" Patel – mastering

Remix album[edit]

Human After All: Remixes cover

Human After All: Remixes was released on March 29, 2006 exclusively for Japan. It features numerous remixes previously unavailable on CD in a limited pressing of 3,000 copies. A limited edition of the album included a set of Daft Punk Kubricks. The album implements a Copy Control system.

  1. "Robot Rock" (Soulwax remix) – 6:31
  2. "Human After All" (SebastiAn remix) – 4:48
  3. "Technologic" (Peaches No Logic remix) – 4:38
  4. "The Brainwasher" (Erol Alkan's Horrorhouse dub) – 6:05
  5. "The Prime Time of Your Life" (Para One remix) – 3:52
  6. "Human After All" ("Guy-Man After All" Justice remix) – 4:01
  7. "Technologic" (Digitalism's Highway to Paris remix) – 6:01
  8. "Human After All" (Alter Ego remix) – 9:26
  9. "Technologic" (Vitalic remix) – 5:27
  10. "Robot Rock" (Daft Punk Maximum Overdrive mix) – 5:54
    • This song was previously titled "Robot Rock (Maximum Overdrive)".

In 2009 an unofficial remix album was released onto the Internet called Remix After All where blogs asked their favorite producer to remix the song they were paired up with. Remix After All was made in response to Human After All: Remixes due to its limited availability and lack of remix coverage for all of Human After All's tracks.[39]

  1. "Human After All" (The Disco Villains remix)  – 6:11
  2. "The Prime Time of Your Life" (Tits & Clits remix)  – 5:56
  3. "Robot Rock" (Immuzikation remix)  – 4:38
  4. "Steam Machine" (The Company Kang remix)  – 3:29
  5. "Make Love" (Chew Fu and Substantial Small Room Sax Fix)  – 4:49
  6. "The Brainwasher" (Melee Beats remix)  – 4:16
  7. "On/Off" (The Noizy Kidz Daft Zapping remix)  – 3:20
  8. "Television Rules the Nation" (Dirty Disco Youth remix) – 3:42
  9. "Technologic" (Kids at the Bar remix)  – 4:18
  10. "Emotion" (Werewolf by Night remix)  – 6:13

Charts[edit]

As of May 2013, Human After All has sold 127,000 copies in the US.[40]

Chart (2005) Peak
position
US Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[41] 1
French Albums (SNEP)[42] 3
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[43] 8
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[44] 8
Italian Albums (FIMI)[45] 8
UK Albums (OCC)[46] 10
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[47] 11
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[48] 23
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[49] 30
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[50] 36
Australian Albums (ARIA)[51] 36
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[52] 87
US Billboard 200[53] 98

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liner notes of the Human After All album - "Paris, September 13, 2004 to November 9, 2004"
  2. ^ a b c Reynolds, Simon (April 2005). "Review: Human After All". Blender (New York): 116. 
  3. ^ a b Daft Punk - Human After All roughtrade.com. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Doris, Jesse (May 21, 2011). "Robocall: A Conversation with Daft Punk". Time. entertainment.time.com. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Human After All Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Dombal, Ryan (20 November 2007). "Daft Punk: Alive 2007". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 3 September 2008.
  7. ^ a b Suzanne Ely, "Return of the Cybermen" Mixmag (July 2006). Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  8. ^ Baron, Zach (May 2013). "Daft Punk Is (Finally!) Playing at Our House". GQ 83 (5): 76–82. 
  9. ^ "Thomas Bangalter interview at French Touch Forum". 
  10. ^ "Belfort's After Show interview at French Touch Forum". 
  11. ^ Eric Ducker, "The Creators" (2007). The Fader, issue 47, pp. 116. Retrieved on February 17, 2008.
  12. ^ Nadeau, Cheyne and Nies, Jennifer (July–August 2013). "The Work of Art Is Controlling You". Anthem (29): 36–37. 
  13. ^ Martin, Lauren (May 13, 2013). "Daft Punk vs Giorgio Moroder". Dazed & Confused. dazeddigital.com. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Mark Pytlik, Interview: Daft Punk. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on October 2, 2007.
  15. ^ a b Perron, Erwan, and Gancel, Alice (April 7, 2013). "Daft Punk, interview-fleuve pour la sortie de Random Access Memories". Telerama (in French). telerama.fr. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  16. ^ Heather Phares, Allmusic Review. Retrieved on November 3, 2007.
  17. ^ How Did Daft Punk Go from the Flop of 2005 to the Talk of 2013? spin.com. Retrieved on February 4, 2014.
  18. ^ Daft Punk and the Rise of the New Parisian Nightlife Paper Magazine. Retrieved on November 3, 2007.
  19. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  20. ^ "Daft Punk Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Daft Punk. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  21. ^ "July 2005 / Archive Chart". UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  22. ^ "Lescharts.com – Daft Punk – Human After All" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  23. ^ Interview with Electroma actor Peter Hurteau. danideahl.com. Retrieved on January 14, 2008.
  24. ^ Matt Diehl, Human After All, Indeed. thedailyswarm.com. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  25. ^ Kerri Mason, Daft Punk's Robot Revolution (subscription required). Billboard. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
  26. ^ Phares, Heather. [http://www.allmusic.com/album/r732399/review Human After All > Review] at AllMusic. Retrieved May 16, 2012..
  27. ^ "EW Review: J. Lo's 'Rebirth' falls flat". CNN. March 15, 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (10 March 2005). "CD: Daft Punk, Human After All". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Review: Human After All". Mojo (London): 89. April 2005. 
  30. ^ Jam, James. "Daft Punk : Human After All". NME (IPC Media). Retrieved on 16 May 2012.
  31. ^ Pytlik, Mark. "Human After All". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 16 May 2012.
  32. ^ a b "Review: Human After All". Q (London): 118. April 2005. 
  33. ^ a b Walters, Barry (April 7, 2005). "Human After All : Daft Punk". Rolling Stone (New York). Archived from the original on May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  34. ^ Day, Adrienne (April 2005). "Reviews". Spin (New York): 105. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  35. ^ Christgau, Robert (May 3, 2005). "Beguilement and Rage". The Village Voice (New York). Archived from the original on May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Key to Grades". Robert Christgau. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  37. ^ Matthew Weiner, Human After All review at Stylus Magazine Online (March 14, 2005)
  38. ^ "48th Grammy Awards – 2006". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  39. ^ http://prettymuchamazing.com/mp3/daft-punk-remix-after-all
  40. ^ "Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' Heading For Big Sales, Aiming For No. 1". Billboard.com. May 17, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Daft Punk Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums for Daft Punk. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  42. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  43. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  44. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All" (In Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  45. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All". Italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  46. ^ "Daft Punk | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  47. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All" (In French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  48. ^ "Daft Punk - Human After All" (In German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  49. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  50. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  51. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  52. ^ "Daft Punk – Human After All". Spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  53. ^ "Daft Punk Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Daft Punk. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 May 2012.

External links[edit]