Daft Punk, 'Random Access Memories'
A monumentally ambitious, old-school concept LP filled with wonderfully WTF moments, from Julian Casablancas' vocoder soul to Paul Williams robo-schmaltz fantasia, this is a fantasy-baseball-style idealization of the sort of cratedigger disco that first inspired Daft Punk's sample-driven, game-changing house music. The record hot-wired Nile Rodgers' radio-ruling rhythm guitar, rebooted Pharrell's irresistible hip-hop soul, and basically did the time warp in a high-wire act of reverse engineering. (Daft Punk's work on Kanye's Yeezus, meanwhile, was another triumph.) You could say they stayed up all night to get lucky, and boy did they. But in truth, luck had nothing to do with it.