The Tron: Legacy
soundtrack, written by robotic Paris house gods Daft Punk, has been one of the most buzzed-about musical events of 2010. Now, after months of waiting, the finished product has finally reached my ears - I'll give you a moment to get over your jealously before I answer the million-dollar question.
So, was the anticipation justified?
That depends on what you were anticipating. If you were waiting for a bunch of new Tron
-themed house tracks, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed, or at least surprised. This is most definitely a movie score, in the mold of composers like Hans Zimmer, John Williams, or Danny Elfman, albeit with a Daft Punk spin. If this is what you were looking forward to, or if you were just waiting to see what Daft Punk would pull out of their robot helmets, your patience will be richly rewarded.
Daft Punk fill their new shoes as film composers like champs. Gone (mostly) are the catchy hooks, samples and four-to-the-floor beats that define their work as house artists. They are replaced with epic motifs and themes, pounding stabs, and tense buildups capable of standing up against anything someone like Zimmer or Elfman could have written. At this point they are, of course, out of their context in the film, but all I can say is I hope the movie provides moments worthy of the backdrop Daft Punk provides for them.
Daft Punk were given the use of a full symphony orchestra for their work on the soundtrack, and they adapt to the expanded sonic palette capably. Some of the cuts are purely orchestral, others purely synthesized; however, most of the soundtrack blends the orchestra seamlessly with Daft Punk's futuristic synths. These bits are what really make the soundtrack shine - synthesizers have long been used to provide those crazy sound effects in sci-fi movie scores, but Daft Punk fully incorporates them as important melodic and harmonic elements of the tunes along with the orchestral instruments. It's moments like "The Grid" and of course, the end titles theme, that make this soundtrack really stand out.
As both a Daft Punk fan and a fan of soundtrack music, I thought this was excellent. It was everything I could have hoped for from a Daft Punk-composed movie soundtrack, and I only hope that the movie is just as good. Robot helmets off to the Daft Punk dudes, and I can't wait to hear it in context.
Daft Punk Official Website
Tron: Legacy Official Website