[5] Daft Punk, ‘Digital Love’

Digital Love

Everyone says this sounds like Buggles, and I think that’s because it does. Tune in each day for more searing analysis.

Daft Punk have a taste for the kitsch, but these machine dreams feel so genuine that the gorgeous whole transcends the jokey means. As the treble gets turned up at the beginning, thrills mount. Robot funk is submerged in electronic wash, a murky drift that’s patted down by the shrill verse before bass bounds in and sweeps it clear. From then on, just bask in ludicrous ‘guitar’ shapes and vocoder taken to nauseous extremes, but most of all in a pop song sweet as sugar.

Junior says: “He sounds sad.” I hadn’t thought of that, but there’s a touch of the Paranoid Android. Still, I think it’s about hope. Junior soon got over the melancholy and undulated back and forth, the way she deftly moves her hula hoop.

Best bit: The panriffic ‘guitar’ solo.

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[19] Radiohead, ‘Paranoid Android’

Radiohead’s first fan-shedding phase started, paradoxically, with the Greatest Album Of All Time (© Q Magazine, probably). It was a fantastic bit of over-hyping that even led to ‘No Surprises’ being tagged the Greatest Rock Single Of All Time early the next year. Stupendous. Your stalwart rock hacks were breathless, feverish. Just imagine the couple of seconds of awkward silence after they heard Kid A for the first time.

And last time.

Keeping up the contradictions, ‘Paranoid Android’ alienated swathes of fans and took Radiohead to the Top 3 for the first and – so far – only time. It’s a six-minute riot of joyous Italo-house pianos, frog choruses, Elton and Kiki Dee-style cheeky vocal interplay and Junior Senioresque infectiousness.

Nah, it’s a six-minute trial of studious fretwankery. But pretty good with it. It’s certainly worth a flash of air guitar, as Junior appreciated, and a wave of the castanets. I think she was being sarky there.