Modern music owes a huge debt to Giorgio Moroder. As one of the foremost disco producers of the 70s and credited pioneers of synthesized dance music, it’s easy to see him as a huge reason that electronic music is so popular in the modern age. Despite being out of the spotlight for so many years before his work with Daft Punk, he’s finally decided to try and take it back with his first album in 30 years, Déjà Vu.
On Déjà Vu, Giorgio is simultaneously sticking to his strengths while trying to play catch up with his new contemporaries, covering both the disco and electropop genres. The title song is a pretty straightforward disco song, obviously included to show off Giorgio’s classic style with Sia’s vocals offering another layer to the song. Diamonds takes a completely different route with a stuttering electronic pop beat allowing Charli XCX to offer the same energy she does in her own music to benefit the song. It’s on the lead single Right Here, Right Now and the new track Wildstar where Giorgio’s skills in both genres truly shine, though.
Right Here, Right Now is probably the best sign of Giorgio’s versatility on the album, delivering a signature Kylie electropop song while infusing it with his own style. Strings, guitar and bass are common throughout the album and Giorgio’s music, but they’re put to real use here, giving Kylie the perfect soundscape without making the song sound dated. On the flipside, Wildstar offers up-tempo disco with a perfect use of strings, guitar, bass and synths used in harmony as Foxes’ vocals glide along with the music. With one song showing his adaptability and the other showing his pure skill at what he does, these two signify the best he has to offer to the modern world.
The downside is that the album often stumbles, failing to match the level of songs like this. Songs like Tempted and Don’t Let Go show potential, but are dragged down by listless instrumentals that Matthew Koma and Mikky Ekko respectively can’t manage to save with their vocal performances. 74 Is The New 24 sees its main melody repeating in La Disco, making for three songs that have used these elements when the non-album song Giorgio’s Theme is taken into account. The largest misstep is Tom’s Diner, his remake of the classic Suzanne Vega song with Britney Spears on vocals. It comes across as almost too dark and morose for its own good, with a middle eight featuring a voice over from Giorgio himself killing the mood of the song almost entirely.
Coming from a veritable music legend, it’s borderline disappointing that there are so many hitches in the grand scheme of the album. It comes off as a balancing act, with Wildstar and Right Here, Right Now making up for the likes of Tom’s Diner and Tempted with the rest existing in the middle. While Giorgio has nothing to prove to us at this stage, Déjà Vu is just too inconsistent to call a classic alongside the rest of his discography.