Daft Punk album review – Tron Legacy Official Soundtrack
It’s not often that a soundtrack rivals the actual film in terms of expectation and excitement; but ever since it was announced that Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were to put their robot heads together for the soundtrack for the forthcoming Tron franchise reboot, anticipation has grown with every new online leak and video.
Those who have seen the ‘Derezzed’ promo currently doing the blogosphere rounds will already know that the pairing of Daft Punk and the retro futurism of the Tron world is a match made in techno heaven. But if anyone is expecting this soundtrack to be full of Daft Punk’s distinct brand of dancefloor-filling electro, one look at the track-listing will probably disappoint. Tracks with names like ‘Overture’ and the brilliantly titled ‘Adagio for TRON’ will tell you this is a different Daft Punk to the one that made Homework and Discovery. This is a Daft Punk intent on progressing into the realms of proper genius – and combining the worlds of classical music and techno for the soundtrack of a distinctly retro-progressive movie turns out to be a great way of doing that.
Like all soundtracks, there are a lot of tracks that are designed to be nothing more than mood-setters for the on-screen action – but even most of these sound special. Songs like ‘Rinzler’ and ‘Fall’ are dripping with dark techno malevolence; and while you can’t help but try and picture what scenes they might be soundtracking, they’re strong and engrossing techno tracks in their own right.
Where the Tron Legacy soundtrack really gets interesting, though, is when Daft Punk are freed from the constraints of chronicling the film action and spread their wings on outrageously inventive and compelling set-pieces. ‘End Of Line’ is named after Tron’s cyber-nightclub and soundtracks a scene that sees Daft Punk as mp3 files digitally rendered as robotic DJ’s, and its mixture of funky bass and piercing synths not only make that seem perfectly plausible – it makes you want to blag your way in and join in the digital hedonism! Best of all though is ‘TRON Legacy (End Titles)’, which perfectly encapsulates everything Daft Punk have tried to achieve with this soundtrack – merging the cold but compelling techno world with uplifting orchestral movements.
When it was announced that Daft Punk would be providing the soundtrack, Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski said that the French duo actually interviewed him before agreeing to do it. It was clear then that Daft Punk viewed this as the album they were born to make – and the perfect vehicle for them to progress away from the dancefloor into a musical sphere of their own making.