The blast from the past turns out to be more of a whimper. Even the strong collection of featured artists on this album couldn't save it from being very forgettable.
I’ll admit, I had no idea who Giorgio was until I heard the interview track on Daft Punk’s excellent fourth album Random Access Memories. The devotion of such a large portion of the album to one person in particular seemed, to me at least, evident of greatness and influence, inferring him as the grandfather of modern electronic music. Following this resurgence in popularity it was quickly announced that, for the first time in thirty years, Giorgio was going to be producing new music.
Before the release I had imagined this album could have gone one of two ways, either another revolution in electronic music, the likes of which he created in the eighties, or an attempted resurgence of his old stylings. However, what we have instead is a strange mix of both the past and present. Gone now is the charm of the earlier music, and we’re left with a slightly retro, generic forty minute mix. The songs sound like bad remixes of decent singles, the kind of music a slightly dated DJ may play, those Eurovision songs that you only remember when they show the clips.
Stronger tracks on the album, such as the titular ‘Déjà vu’ featuring Sia, ‘Right Here Right Now’ featuring Kylie Minogue, and ‘Back and Forth’ featuring Kelis, all fail to really get going. They reach an anti-climactic chorus then meander about until finally deciding to end. Later tracks ’74 is the new 24′ and ‘Tom’s Diner’ continue in this style, but by that point in the LP what was once dull has become irritating.
The highlight of the album is ‘WildStar’ featuring Foxes, one of the least publicized songs on Déjà Vu, manages to separate its self from the others by breaking down in the second half of the song, despite it being a semi-tacky vocoder. However, this change is momentary, and the album then returns back to its relatively uninspired beats and lyrics.
It would be hard to say I wasn’t disappointed in this album. Despite the upbeat nature of the music it quickly became a chore to listen to at times, especially after it was clear that one minute into each song all the material had already been used. Hopefully this album will be forgotten as a flop so that Giorgio can maintain his cult status.