Daft Punk – Homework (25th Anniversary Edition Review)
Released as a surprise drop one year to the day since the duo announced their separation, the 25th Anniversary edition of Daft Punk’s debut album Homework, reintroduces audiences to the duo’s early work which kickstarted their critically acclaimed and award-winning discography.
While those more familiar with Daft Punk’s funk and disco based music from Random Access Memories as well as recent collaborations with The Weeknd with ‘Starboy’ and ‘I Feel It Coming’, Homework brings harder hitting electronic music which helped push French House and electronic music into the mainstream inspiring later artists such as Justice, Disclosure and Porter Robinson amongst many others.
The House classic, ‘Around The World’, is certainly the biggest single from this album and still remains on rotation for many 25 years later, however, relistening to Homework, gives opportunity to re-appreciate some of Daft Punk’s lesser known and underrated tracks. Tracks such as ‘Phoenix’ with its thumping kick and humming beat as well as ‘Indo Silver Club’ with its bouncing drum beat and melody, are both underrated upbeat and joyfully addictive house tracks.
Harder and more techno inspired tracks such as ‘Rollin’ & Scratchin’ and ‘Rock’n Roll’, illustrate the eclectic ability of Daft Punk to make both hard hitting techno and funk and disco inspired house. Those harder hitting tracks however may not be the tracks listeners have on repeat for casual listening, rather playing a much stronger role within Daft Punk’s highly recommended live albums, Alive 1997 and Alive 2007.
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the original release of Homework, an additional fifteen remixes of songs from the original album have been added to this release. Some of those are fresh unheard remix such as Master at Works’ low tempo and relaxing ‘Around The World – Mellow Mix’, while others are releases of deeper cut remixes which accompanied the original single releases of tracks such as ‘Burnin- Ian Pooley Cut up Mix’ and ‘Revolution 909- Roger Sanchez & Junior Sanchez Remix’. While these remixes are a welcome addition for Daft Punk fans, with eight of the fifteen being remixes of ‘Around the World’ and four being remixes of ‘Burnin’, the 25th Anniversary feels like a missed opportunity. Including early limited released material such as the Soma Records published singles, ‘Assault’, which was released in the lead up to Homework, and the unreleased 1994 single ‘Drive’ would give listeners music previously unavailable on streaming services, and make the album a must listen.
The release was accompanied by a twitch stream of 1997 Concert from the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles from Daft Punk’s Daftendirektour as well as a vinyl reissue of the live album, Alive 1997. For those new to Daft Punk’s older work, this new 25th Anniversary release of Homework certainly worth their time. For Daft Punk fans who are very familiar with Homework, their time would perhaps be better spent relistening to Alive 1997 or seeking out other recordings of Daft Punk’s live concerts.
Homework remains a strong release that should be regarded as highly as Daft Punk’s later albums, Discovery, Human After All and Random Access Memories. The vinyl release of this 25th Anniversary edition, coming on the 15th April will be a worthwhile collectors item for Daft Punk fans as it compiles alternative versions of classics that could previously only be available within the now hard to find single releases. The re-release is available for streaming now and is a classic album worth revisiting for any dance and electronic music fans.