Why Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" is probably the song of the year | Bleader

Why Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" is probably the song of the year


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Every once in a while the universe manages to come close to being exactly as it should be. For instance, right now Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" is at number 19 on the Hot 100, which isn't exactly the placement it deserves, but isn't too far off either.

This isn't the French robot duo's first appearance on the chart ("Around the World" made it to number 61 in 1997 and "One More Time" did the same in 2000), but it's the highest spot that they've achieved. More importantly, it's the first time that they've charted since EDM—a genre that they've had as big an influence on as any other single act—has become a competitive player in mainstream pop music. Right now they're sharing the Hot 100 with EDM artists Swedish House Mafia, Calvin Harris, Baauer, Zedd, and Skrillex (albeit via a beat for A$AP Rocky), as well as more pop-oriented acts like Will.i.am, Icona Pop, and Awolnation that have prominent EDM streaks. And aside from Baauer, who's still cruising off his seemingly unkillable "Harlem Shake," they're higher up than any of them. Which is exactly as it should be, since Daft Punk is better than all of them.

In my perfect world "Get Lucky" would shoot up to number one, then slide back down a few spots to chill out in the top ten for the next few months while a succession of flashier but less perfectly thought-out songs spend the summer battling for the top spot. Which is entirely possible.

It's obvious from the opening seconds that "Get Lucky" is a quintessential summer jam, bouncy but not oppressively eager to get you to dance, with a Pharrell vocal hook that's basically impossible to get out of your head once it's in there and a guitar riff from the legendary Nile Rodgers that's nearly as hard to shake. And although opinion on the essential quality of Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" remains divided, its chart success suggests that the American mainstream has developed a taste for unfussy midtempo pop-disco like "Get Lucky."

Even more importantly to the song's long-term potential is the fact that in a schismatic, post-monoculture world, Daft Punk is one of the few acts that appeals to nearly every kind of listener you can imagine. EDM fans obviously are way into them, but they're just as big a deal in the rap world, and they're notorious for being one of the only synthesizer-based groups that listeners who are otherwise exclusively committed to guitar rock are willing to listen to. Their headlining set at 2007's Lollapalooza was one of the few that I've seen that brought together more of the festival's attendees than it drove off.

Considering how the charts are currently defined by genre-crossing collaborations and increasingly eccentric tastes, an ad hoc group made out of a singing rap producer, a disco god, and two French robots is about the most perfect representative for 2013 pop music imaginable. We should reward them by giving them the number three spot for the rest of the year.

And while we're at it we should give "Bugatti" the top slot for at least a week or two.

Miles Raymer writes about what's on the charts on Tuesday.