Giorgio Moroder: Déjà Vu

Posted June 30, 2015 by in Dance pop



3.5/ 5


Genre: , ,
Producer: , , , , ,
Genre: Dance pop, disco,
Producer: Giorgio Moroder, Roman Lüth, Raney Shockne, Sikow, Patrick Jordan-Patrikios, Jeeve, Michael Smidi Smith, Joakim Åhlund
Label: RCA
Format: Digial download, compact disc, vinyl
Time: 42:08
Release Date: 12 June 2015
Spin This: "Deja Vu," "La Disco," "4 U With Love"


Sweet return to disco nirvana with "Deja Vu" and a good exploration into modern synth-pop. Instrumentals remind you of Moroder's solo works


A few guests give the set some rather average performances. Some of the material could be judged the same

Disco pioneer drops star-studded new album, ending 30-year old sabbatical

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Disco pioneer drops star-studded new album, ending 30-year old sabbatical

Euro disco pioneer and producer Giorgio Moroder, now 75, is light years away from his heyday. When Donna Summer was tied to his side, the Italy-born electronic wizard was the king of the hill. His hand touched such iconic hits as Blondie’s “Call Me,” Irene Cara’s “What a Feeling,” Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Summer’s finest (“Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” “I Feel Love,” “Love to Love You Baby”). As an artist, he explored the electronic breakthroughs that made him pop’s Kraftwerk, best evidenced on From Here to Eternity and E=MC2. But trends and tastebuds have changed, pushing Moroder further away from the spotlight. After telling his life story on the artsy “Giorgio by Moroder” track on Daft Punk’s Grammy-winning Random Access Memories, Moroder’s stock went up. You could then see the grey-haired gent spinning mega-mixes at posh electro raves and music festivals across the globe. Then it became cool to bring up the name of Moroder, even Chic’s Nile Rodgers, in the context of modern dance-pop vehicular. What was old is new again.

As a surpassing move to the industry, in a climate when older artists are making stunning climbs on record charts, Moroder gets signed to a major label (RCA) and is summoned to produce his first record in thirty years. What comes out is a star-studded event warmly titled Déjà Vu. Inside, the producer works up the strengths of EDM today, but focuses on his suitable gift of penning pop music. It shouldn’t be so hard for the old soul, since the songs that turned to sold gold are endurable staples in the pop-rock encyclopedia. Unless he’s been hit with a boulder of dementia, Moroder should have very little trouble making a good song.

That explains why the twelve-track Déjà Vu sounds pretty good. Minus the electric synths and deep house rhythms, half of the songs aboard this collection could have easily fit inside Bad Girls. The auspiciously sped-up title cut, featuring Sia singing like a confident disco diva, plays up funky guitars and a funky groove reminiscent of Chic’s “Dance Dance Dance.” Listen hard enough and hings almost sound like Cher’s “Believe.” The Kylie Minogue-contributed “Right Here, Right Now” — a flashback to ’80s comes close to reaching that same magical feeling.

As if classic disco was no longer on life support, Moroder keeps disco in the forefront of the package. You hear similar traces on “Tempted.” Then he fearlessly spits live strings and real drums into an intoxicating Eurodisco template aboard “Wildstar.” He does drop magical electro into the set, also showing off his Daft Punk talk past the midway point, but it’s the ode to ’70’s disco bliss that makes this track so mouth-watering. Poignant inspiring lyrics hold up the balladry inside “Don’t Let Go,” a song carried by “Stay” singer Mikky Ekko: “It’s time for us to finally see/We can’t stop ’til our minds are free.” Moments later, Charli XCX lends her “Fancy” vocals to “Diamonds” and is surrounded by clubland euphoria and Moroder’s Texas Instruments-sounding vocoder. Meanwhile, Britney Spears plants her icy vocals on an icier cover of Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner.” The Spears collaboration doesn’t possess that come hither sensation, but it isn’t unbearable either.

In most cases on Déjà Vu, Moroder doesn’t need pop superheroes to show off his splendor. The instrumental “4 U With Love” is as brilliant as it gets, soaring past anything David Guetta has dropped in the last few years. “74 Is the New 24,” another solo for Moroder, is a nod to “I Feel Love” robotics. “La Disco,” solely composed by Moroder, is the perfect blend of old and new, merging what sounds like Nile Rodgers guitar on a cascade of galactic electropop. He also takes hip-hop riffs from Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” and plants it inside electronic bleeps and beeps on “I Do This for You.”

Not everything inside Déjà Vu plays with the “hit the repeat button” intensity as the title track and the others surrounding it. “Back and Forth” feels insipid. Matthew Koma‘s guest vocals on “Tempted” sound like lightweight Nick Jonas. In some cases, the list or contributing producers don’t actually play up to Moroder’s strengths, as some songs feel creatively strained. A few mistakes and predictable musical patterns stops Déjà Vu from reaching extraordinary heights, but Moroder doesn’t sound dated, nor does he sound confused in this new EDM universe that now encompasses him. And he shouldn’t. He originally perfected the damn thing.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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