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Daft Punk, ‘Random Access Memories’ (Album Review)

At just over 45 minutes, 2005’s “Human After All” was Daft Punk’s shortest album. It’s also the only one not to have gone gold. Perhaps in response, the 75-minute “Random Access Memories” is the French electronic act’s longest yet. There’s definitely an epic heft to it, aided by a deep, varied bench of guest talent, from Pharrell Williams (on the rubbery snap-funk of “Get Lucky,” burning up pop radio as you read this) and the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, to disco kingpins Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder, to Muppets songsmith and ’70s curio Paul Williams, whose soft croak imparts a frail sincerity to “Touch.” Me Decade touches abound — Steely Dan electric piano here, Motown strings there, smooth bedroom pop several places — but they’re given a substantial update. In “Giorgio by Moroder,” the famed producer narrates his tale to a beat, chanking guitar and staccato keyboard line recalling his work before blossoming into a more advanced form of clubby synth-pop closer to Ladytron — who are, after all, Moroder’s musical descendants. And in the closing “Contact,” an Apollo 17 transmission sets up a mathematical keyboard line playing against a full-chord organ while live drums crash and roll in a hyperspace rush that sends “Random Access Memories,” and Daft Punk, back to the future. (Out Tuesday)