Daft Punk, one of the most respected electronica artists to date, took their first step into the realm of soundtrack production with the new Disney film “Tron: Legacy.” When word got out that Daft Punk was going to be creating the original score for the entire film, excitement immediately mounted – not only for Daft Punk fans, but for “Tron” fans as well.
What Daft Punk has created for “Tron: Legacy” probably isn’t what most expected from the electronic French duo. There are no cheery dance anthems here. Instead, what they have created is a perfect blend of orchestra and electronic music that will have you on the edge of your seat, whether it’s while you’re watching the actual film or just sitting at home listening to the album.
The first track, “Overture,” immediately indicates the nature of the soundtrack, and Daft Punk couldn’t have possibly crafted a more spectacular introduction than they did here. With deep strings and horns building up to the beginnings of the electronic melodies, Daft Punk keeps you riveted to your seat waiting for whatever is going to come next.
As the soundtrack moves along, Daft Punk takes you through contemplative synthesizer melodies mixed with melancholy orchestral sounds that will leave you feeling both terrified and empowered. What they really succeed at with “Tron: Legacy” is making you feel like you’re in The Grid, whether you’re sitting at home or in the movie theater.
Throughout the soundtrack, you begin to lose track of how many times Daft Punk sends a chill down your spine, making you want to get up and do something heroic, or simply lay in bed and think about life. With tracks like “Recognizer” and “Arena,” you truly feel like you’re preparing for some sort of battle or daunting challenge before you. Nearly every song, including the two aforementioned songs, has a different effect on the emotions of the listener, but all of them succeed in drawing a strong emotional reaction.
Daft Punk isn’t afraid to show their more classical side with “Tron: Legacy,” however. “Adagio for Tron” is the best example of this, with nearly the entire song composed of orchestral arrangements accented with electronic elements that keep with the style of the rest of the soundtrack. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that in doing such, they have single-handedly carved out their niche in the business of creating depressingly beautiful movie scores tinged with a jolt of electricity that brings out the uniqueness Daft Punk brings to “Tron: Legacy.”
Perhaps the only real dance song in the entire soundtrack is the song that most people are probably going to download from this album, and that’s “Derezzed.” Shown in the commercials and during a fight scene in the actual movie, this upbeat little gem is spectacular while it lasts. I say “while it lasts” because of its unfortunately short length: a measly 1 minute and 44 seconds. The song precluding this one, “End of Line,” is a perfect example of what a good build-up should be in music. More than likely, many of us are simply going to just put the song on repeat and jam to it at max volume anyway.
Despite how masterfully crafted all the songs on this album are, the one thing I find a bit distracting is that the songs all use more or less the same types of sounds. Even though this makes sense in the scheme of the film itself, it can make listening to the soundtrack alone a little cumbersome in that there are so many songs that simply blend right into each other.
That being said, it makes more sense to listen to the whole thing straight through rather than just individual songs. For those who simply buy a few good songs off their favorite artist’s album in order to save money, that task would be much more difficult here. I would suggest picking up the whole thing for the $9.99 price that iTunes offers and enjoy it for what it is: one of the most spectacular original movie soundtracks composed in recent years, with the final result being something that is more than the sum of its parts.
The soundtrack is a masterpiece of symphony and electronic music that will be remembered for years to come. Chances are, this won’t be the last time Daft Punk will be showing their robotic selves around this end of the music industry, which is an extremely exciting prospect all on its own.
Rating: 5 out of 5