Giorgio Moroder was pioneering the sound of the future long before he gained international notoriety in the ‘70s. Lauded for his groundbreaking production work, musical partnership with disco diva Donna Summer as well as collaborating with David Bowie, Blondie and countless artists, Moroder’s artistic renaissance began to take shape in 2013 by way of “Giorgio on Moroder,” a track on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. The expansive 9-minute homage opened him up to a new generation and gave him the chance to provide a first-person account of his amazing career. “Nobody told me what to do, there was no preconception about what to do.”
After beginning his DJ career at 74 later that year, the now 75-year-old synth legend presents his first album in 30 years, Déjà Vu. Despite of his impeccable credentials, influence on dance music and heartwarming comeback story, Déjà Vu is underwhelming pop fluff.
With its cookie cutter buildups and breakdowns “4 U With Love” is schlocky and unimaginative EDM. “Don’t Let Go” featuring Mikky Ekko is one of those unlistenable faux inspirational songs torn from David Guetta’s crossover songbook. “Diamonds” featuring Charli XCX and “I Do This For You” featuring Marlene are both horrific pop-dance schmaltz. Both tunes fit the archetype of the frustratingly awful Euro songs you’ll hear bleating from a pizza joint on Collins Avenue in Miami any day of the year.
Moroder’s cover of Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” featuring Britney Spears is the album’s strongest moment. Spears’ voice is bold and suits Mordor’s rock-solid production which builds upon Vega’s 1987 original and DNA’s subsequent chart-topping 1990 remix. In the end this glimmer of hope isn’t nearly enough to turn the tide.
Giorgio Morodor’s 17th album, Déjà Vu, is one I’d prefer not to have again.