"Short Circuit" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. "One More Time" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
Four long years after their debut, Homework, Daft Punk returned with a second full-length, also packed with excellent productions and many of the obligatory nods to the duo's favorite stylistic speed bumps of the 1970s and '80s. Discovery is by no means the same record, though. Deserting the shrieking acid house hysteria of their early work, the album moves in the same smooth filtered disco circles as the European dance smashes ("Music Sounds Better with You" and "Gym Tonic") that were co-produced by DP's Thomas Bangalter during the group's long interim. If Homework was Daft Punk's Chicago house record, this is definitely the New York garage edition, with co-productions and vocals from Romanthony and Todd Edwards, two of the brightest figures based in New Jersey's fertile garage scene. Also in common with classic East Coast dance and '80s R&B, Discovery surprisingly focuses on songwriting and concise productions, though the pair's visions of bucolic pop on "Digital Love" and "Something About Us" are delivered by an androgynous, vocoderized frontman singing trite (though rather endearing) love lyrics. "One More Time," the irresistible album opener and first single, takes Bangalter's "Music Sounds Better with You" as a blueprint, blending sampled horns with some retro bass thump and the gorgeous, extroverted vocals of Romanthony going round and round with apparently endless tweakings. Though "Aerodynamic" and "Superheroes" have a bit of the driving acid minimalism associated with Homework, here Daft Punk is more taken with the glammier, poppier sound of Eurodisco and late R&B. Abusing their pitch-bend and vocoder effects as though they were going out of style (about 15 years too late, come to think of it), the duo loops nearly everything they can get their sequencers on -- divas, vocoders, synth-guitars, electric piano -- and conjures a sound worthy of bygone electro-pop technicians from Giorgio Moroder to Todd Rundgren to Steve Miller. Daft Punk are such stellar, meticulous producers that they make any sound work, even superficially dated ones like spastic early-'80s electro/R&B ("Short Circuit") or faux-orchestral synthesizer baroque ("Veridis Quo"). The only crime here is burying the highlight of the entire LP near the end. "Face to Face," a track with garage wunderkind Todd Edwards, twists his trademarked split-second samples and fully fragmented vision of garage into a dance-pop hit that could've easily stormed the charts in 1987. Daft Punk even manage a sense of humor about their own work, closing with a ten-minute track aptly titled "Too Long." [A vinyl version added an extra LP with seven bonus tracks.] ~ John Bush
Rolling Stone (3/29/01, pp.59-60) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A scatter-shot triumph,, a blow against monolithic record-making....DISCOVERY helps you get your mainstream on...loading the front of the album with the best songs....[its] Euro dance at its absolute best..."
Spin (1/02, p.76) - Ranked #8 in Spin's "Albums of the Year 2001".
Spin (6/01, p.145) - 8 out of 10 - "...Crystalline intensity....No record this side of SIGN 'O' THE TIMES or NEVERMIND could hold such a pace..."
Entertainment Weekly (3/30/01, p.68) - "...A retro-techno-suite positing SWITCHED ON BACH and Van Halen guitar solos as the new apex of club-culture chic. The beat editing and EQ wizardry still wow..." - Rating: B
Q (4/01, p.97) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...It attacks old questions and spent ideals with such renewing verve and invention that you wish you were French yourself....a towering, persuasive tour-de-force..."
Alternative Press (2/02, p.65) - Ranked #12 in AP's "25 Best Albums of 2001"
Alternative Press (4/01, p.63) - 4 out of 5 - "...This album is all about getting down...it virtually has no use outside of a club setting..."
Mixmag (4/01, p.163) - 5 out of 5 - "...Daft Punk regin again....altering the course of dance music for the second time....Alternating between 80s-inspired art-schoolish excursions in noise racketeering and straight-up raise-the-ceiling club acts...the perfect non-pop pop album..."
Vibe (6/01, p.158) - 3.5 discs out of 5 - "...An even bolder statement with a high level of gloss....You don't need to be strung out ina dark room full of beautiful strangers to enjoy it..."
Mojo (Publisher) (4/01, p.100) - "...This is a slicker Daft Punk, the raw edges slicked back under glossy production....Mullet techno, if you like..."
NME (Magazine) (12/29/01, p.59) - Ranked #16 in NME's 50 "Albums Of the Year 2001".
NME (Magazine) (3/10/01, p.31) - 9 out of 10 - "...Simply fantastic pop....This is a record so polished, intense and bursting with Pop Art ideas it almost belongs in the Tate Modern..."