Albums turning 20: Daft Punk, Built to Spill & Pat Boone


Wanna feel old?

Well you’re in luck! Because there’s practically no better way to age yourself than by counting the years between the release of formidable music of your adolescence and the present.

To that end, NonDoc will be posting some reminders that your bygone musical tastes have been buried beneath decades of subsequent album releases, each one increasingly meaningless as you cling to the nostalgia summoned in the following compact discs of the mid-late 1990s.

Daft Punk, Homework

Release date: Jan. 20, 1997

Thanks to the worldly ways of my brother returning home on holiday from college in Atlanta, this CD found its way to a hand-me-down boom box in my small-town bedroom. Sixteen tracks of four-on-the-floor bass-driven minimalism distinguished French duo Daft Punk’s debut release on Virgin Records from the alternative rock and R&B otherwise dominating the airwaves. Cinematic auteur Michel Gondry directed the hypnotically entertaining video for standout single Around the World (embedded at the top of this post), and Daft Punk went on to release three more full-length albums and receive more than a dozen awards.

Built to Spill, Perfect from Now On

Release date: Jan. 28, 1997

Unlike Homework, it wasn’t until the new millennium that newfound college friends turned me on to these indie darlings from Boise, of all places. This critically acclaimed third album sealed frontman Doug Martsch’s place as the premier poet-philosopher for sensitive intellectuals who also like to binge drink cheap beer. As a result, album-opener Randy Described Eternity, which conjures a rather beautiful metaphor for an everlasting hereafter, became the unlikely cerebral sonic backdrop for patently primitive pursuits.

Pat Boone, In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Release date: January 1997 (specific date unavailable)

I didn’t even know this abomination existed until I began researching for this article, but it’s just so stupid and terrible that I feel it warrants inclusion (plus I didn’t like any of the other releases from this month 20 years ago). As one might expect, In a Metal Mood features aging crooner and potential leprechaun Pat Boone desperately seeking mid-90s relevance by covering heavy metal hits from the ’70s and ’80s, and it is absolutely unlistenable. You’re welcome.