In 2012, Giorgio Moroder was coaxed out of musical hibernation by Daft Punk in order to aid them in their own comeback, the stunning 'Random Access Memories' which was, in itself a homage to the brand of synth disco the Italian producer pioneered during the late '70s. His involvement only resulted in one track, but 'Giorgio By Moroder' ended up being the album's definitive statement and the most adventurous thing the Parisian duo or Moroder had been a part of. The nine-minute wonder began with Moroder talking about his early career in Germany, set to a backdrop of colourful disco before making the transition to 80's electro, light jazz and a prog-worthy finale.
It's the sort of experience that triggers a creative rebirth for most artists, but even after a cursory listen to 'Déjà Vu' — his first album in 30 years — it's clear this was not the case for the 75 year-old. In an attempt to help modernise his sound and widen his appeal, Moroder has roped in a whole host of pop stars from old to new and sadly, almost all of them fail to make a significant impact. Even the normally exuberant Charli XCX can't salvage any dignity on the forgettable 'Diamonds'. Ironically, chart veterans Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears are responsible for the more successful moments but in truth, the real problem is not down to the collaborations.
There's simply not enough of Moroder: he feels surprisingly absent, like he has almost nothing to prove. And, while that is true to a certain extent, a comeback for an artist of this stature deserves something more than what's on offer here. 'La Disco' is the most pleasing track on the album because it's basically an ode to himself and at least helps end things on a positive note. Let's be perfectly honest though, when Britney covering 'Tom's Diner' is a highlight, it's not completely unfair to say that 'Déjà Vu' won't be joining the pantheon of great albums any time soon.
Words: Luke Winstanley
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