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Few individuals can claim as much success and innovation as disco legend Giorgio Moroder. The Italian producer, songwriter and DJ has had his hands on an absurd number of hits. He was a major force behind the string of hits Donna Summer realized in the late 1970s, including 'Bad Girls', 'Last Dance', 'Hot Stuff' and 'Love To Love You Baby'. He wrote the music and produced 'Cat People (Putting Out Fire)' for David Bowie. He wrote 'Take My Breath Away', the Academy Award winning song performed by Berlin, and composed 'Danger Zone', a Kenny Loggins hit. But as the '80s passed, Moroder's star faded. His last solo album, Innovisions, was released in 1985 and his last major collaboration, acting as producer for the short-lived pop group Big Trouble, came in 1988.

Then came Daft Punk. With the help of the French robots, who interviewed Moroder and performed an exhilarating tribute to him on 'Giorgio by Moroder' from 2013's Random Access Memories, Moroder's career received a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Piggybacking off the enormous critical and commercial success of Daft Punk's recorder, Moroder has taken the opportunity to issue a number of remixes of popular songs from the likes of Coldplay and Haim, while also making the rounds at festivals as a DJ. And now, he has made the seemingly inevitable attempt to propel himself back into the mainstream with his twelfth solo album, Déjà Vu.

All those hoping to hear Moroder make his own contribution to the disco renaissance that Daft Punk helped initiate will leave extremely disappointed, to understate it just a bit. From the album's very outset, it is made clear that this record will be attempting nothing more than to infiltrate as many dance clubs in the world as possible. While there is nothing wrong with dance music, Moroder's attempts at creating a 21st century version of his prior success results in painfully artificial, sterile, boring music. The first track, '4 U With Love', as well as the others that do not feature guest singers, including '74 Is The New 24' and 'La Disco', are so bland that they sound as though they were manufactured by pulling pre-filled levers at a shop, layering all the standard modern dance sounds and gimmicks atop one another in a heaping mess. Thumping beats that will make ludicrously drunk people want to throw their hands in the air are found in abundance, but all of the ingenuity and brilliance of his heyday in disco and pop seems to have been lost.

But rather than have Moroder flail in solitude, nine of Déjà Vu's songs have employed some of the world's most popular singers to join in the parade of garbage. Some of these artists, including Sia, Charli XCX and Kylie Minogue deliver their hooks with purpose and conviction and some of them are even catchy, but that cannot save these songs. In the case of Charli XCX, who features on the track 'Diamonds,' the incessant computerized repetition of the song's title throughout detracts from any and all enjoyment the pop singer's talents could provide. The album's strongest track and lead single, 'Right Here, Right Now', features Minogue delivering a strong vocal performance, but the hook of the song sounds far too much like a segment in the much-better 'Do It' by Tuxedo. It is a major problem when an album's very best song struggles to find even a modicum of originality.

Moroder has no doubt enjoyed the renewed success and attention that Daft Punk helped bestow upon him, but Déjà Vu feels like a calculated attempt to cash-in. By commissioning top-tier pop singers, including Britney Spears on a cover of 'Tom's Diner' that never needed to happen (and may have, in fact, tarnished my enjoyment of my favorite restaurant, also called Tom's Diner), and utilizing every modern dance music cliché under the sun, Moroder has placed a sizeable artistic disappointment at the end of his otherwise stellar catalogue. Déjà Vu is an album that never needed to happen and never should have happened.

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