Giorgio Moroder Déjà Vu GM Music
Giorgio Moroder has had an illustrious career: several number ones, four Grammys, three Oscars, and one I Feel Love. The music tapered off in the 1990s, and Moroder may have envisaged a comfortable retirement through the 2000s and beyond. Now, however, on the back of his appearance on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Moroder is enjoying a career renaissance. With tours and an album to promote, in interviews Moroder seems charmingly bemused by the whole thing; a guileless synthophile ‘just happy to be there’.
That music owes a debt to Moroder is beyond doubt. He is also an extremely likeable guy. But an iconic legacy and an endearing likeability do not make a good album. This is, instead, a crushingly bad album, a glitzy bauble of vapid nothingness, so dazzled by its own confected effervescence it fails to register the other irony of its title. Experiencing deja vu? That’s because you’ve heard every single one of these songs before. Only the names are different.
Ironically, the long list of guest vocalists on the album – Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Sia, Kelis, and so on – ends up merely emphasising the conformity of commercial pop, not its supposed diverse vibrancy. The opening bars of title track Deja Vu, for example, sound like a pastiche of a pastiche of an 80s-era Stock Aitken Waterman track; Britney Spears’ listless vocal on the butchered classic Tom’s Diner will have Susanne Vega fans clutching their ears in distress; the main riff in 4 U with Love sounds so like that of Avicii’s Wake Me Up, both producers may want to brief their lawyers. There is, indeed, almost no enjoyable music on this entire album, except the somewhat catchy Right Here, Right Now (feat. Kylie Minogue) – but even there, the burpy bass and facile lyrics drag us on a grim safari from the anodyne to the asinine.
This album a sad coda to an otherwise impressive career. But while Moroder is hardly blameless, it’s clear he’s just tried to recreate what’s most popular right now: EDM. It’s music depressingly indicative of the moribund cultures that produced it, of the self-cannibalising tendency in mass-market music and the broader artistic failure of pop. Its demise can’t come soon enough.