Some of my elitist friends don’t like Daft Punk’s song Get Lucky. I don’t know why. It’s got just the right amount of disco retro and yet the quality producing I’ve grown accustomed to in modern music. Daft Punk doesn’t put out a lot of music, certainly not as much as most bands do. When they do finally put out an album, it does very, very well and Random Access Memories definitely counts.
But, that’s not enough to get a review out of me. There’s got to be something else. And, there is. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe not. Like most things that intrigue me, it’s philosophical. So, let’s break down the first stanza:
“Like the legend of the phoenix, all ends with beginnings.” All things die. Some things, in this case, aspects of society come back. This is really interesting, not just because what we’re about to get into, but also because, like I said, Random Access Memories definitely has a retro feel. Styles die. And then they come back.
“What keeps the planets spinning? The force from the beginning.” What is the primary driving force of the planets? That’s not what this song is about. Except in some great, universal, everyone’s-a-part-of-everything sense, which may be what their getting at. The planets, in this case, are us.
“We’ve come to far to give up who we are.” As rational thought slowly wages war against feelings, against intuition, against, even what many call spiritual, now matter how hard we try to eradicate our primal nature, it’s still there. This attempt to partition ourselves into more than a single being with thoughts and feelings is called dualism and inevitably leads to trouble.
“So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars” So, why fight it? Let’s accept that this is the way we are and embrace it.
“She’s up all night to the sun.” And then we get the first insight into what this primal nature is. She’s out to have fun and see beauty. Maybe even let go of the fear that society tells her to feel and recognize that she too is a part of something great. This is not conceptualized, usually. It was systematized in ancient Roman and Greek culture, but those are gone. Instead the realization manifests as simply an ecstatic or euphoric state.
“I’m up all night to get some.” But, he. He wants to get laid. He has this powerful drive to have sex, which we’ll expand on in a moment. Without this drive, he, meaning his specific genetic structure, won’t continue.
People do the same things, it would seem, but we do them for very different reasons. We go to the same place to do the same thing for different hopeful outcomes. She wants connection with the universe—he wants to continue his genetic structure. All the men who didn’t want this as strong, their genes don’t exist anymore because they didn’t get laid.
“She’s up all night to have fun.” She wants to have fun.
“I’m up all night to get lucky.” He wants to have sex. At least, that’s what the first reading of the line might read. But, in context, I’d argue it means something else. When women go to a club (I know I’m speaking in broad generalizations, but stay with me) they go to have fun. They go with their friends and to dance because dancing is fun and moving is fun and getting buzzed or drunk is fun.
A man goes to a club because a woman goes to a club. (Again, this song assumes the conversation is purely heterosexual, but that’s this conversation. There’s more, but that’s not what this is about, or maybe it is?) When a woman sees another woman move, it’s analyzing, maybe some envy, or maybe safety in the group.
For a man, to watch a woman… to watch a woman move, it’s a drug. It’s actually a drug, as in, in men’s brains, the arousal they get by watching women move is similar to the effects of heroin or cocaine. It’s powerful. It changes their personality. And, like heroin users, they are almost instantly addicted.
“We’re up all night to get lucky.” The fact is, when the motivations are this intrinsically different, it’s a mystery anything every happens that works in anyone’s favor. Yet, it does. A man and a woman can meet, at a club, at work, at church, on the street, wherever. And sometimes it works out. Sometimes we get lucky.