The Albums: Homework (1997), Discovery (2001), Human After All (2005)
The recent success of Random Access Memories suggests that legendary duo Daft Punk has plenty left in the tank. Its dedication to painstaking disco revivalism, however, moves rather starkly (though not entirely unexpectedly) away from the three albums that defined the masked men's sound and established their stature. Homework introduced Daft Punk as a Chicago house-influenced tour-de-force, grabbing all sorts of exciting samples, layering them over thumping bass and drums, and creating dance music with atmosphere and a seriously funky core. 2001's Discovery served up the group's biggest hits yet, using disco and synth-pop as guides for an eclectic set that featured both big hooks and subtle compositions. Stripping their sound down a bit and incorporating greater rock influence, the duo's third album Human After All was met with critical and commercial skepticism, but has held up well against the test of time due to its unusual sonic textures (prefiguring the rock-inspired dance music of Justice by a hair) and an ever-present ability to write killer hooks.