Alive 2007 (Virgin)
The French electronic duo Daft Punk didn’t need to record any new material for its comeback from the desultory 2005 album Human After All. The group’s summer tour of the United States was a gigantic LED spectacle, and Kanye West sampled their 2001 hit “Harder, Faster, Better, Stronger” for his own recent hit “Stronger.” That seemed enough to restore Daft Punk’s reputation—and now a new live album could make them bigger than ever. Alive 2007, a bookend to the similarly named Alive 1997, has all the hits—“Harder, Faster,” “Oh Yeah,” “Aerodynamic”—but it also features several tracks from Human After All, and they work better here than they did on their own two years ago. The hard, forbidding tone of “Robot Rock” and “Human After All” is balanced by the buoyant dance-pop of “Around the World” and the luxuriant disco anthem “One More Time,” which is broken up by a lengthy synth version of a guitar solo. It’s a near-perfect set-list, rising and pausing but never falling, and it’s a sneaky way for Daft Punk to right itself for whatever it does next.