Evan Burkey

WPR Review: Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy Soundtrack

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And then, one day… I got in.

It is no secret that most of us here at Watch Play Read are huge fans of all thing Tron, and you can definitely include myself in that group. I’ve loved the original film since I saw it as a kid, and I waited with baited breath after Tron: Legacy was announced last summer. Once I heard that Daft Punk, one of my musical inspirations, was composing the score, I was sold. So yes, I rode the hypetrain all the way to hypeville… but did the hype live up? Hit the jump to find out

First and foremost, the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack is not a Daft Punk album. Too many times I have heard people knock the score because it’s not a house album, and this is just plain dumb. Daft Punk set out to make a movie score, and in that I believe they succeeded. Daft Punk is known for, among many other things, mixing samples and clips into their electronic music, and in listening to the album you can hear how that experience shapes Daft Punk’s mix of an 85-piece orchestra with their own blend of electronic music. Thomas Bangalter, one of the robots of Daft Punk, said of the soundtrack, “We knew from the start that there was no way we were going to do this film score with two synthesizers and a drum machine.” I think no other track more exemplifies this method of composition than Solar Sailer:

As you can tell from the above track, many of the songs contained on the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack are not the standard Daft Punk thoroughfare. Some of the tracks are nothing more than background music, meant to set the scene for what’s happening in the film. And yet, there is still enough happening in the score to make you want to listen better, harder, faster, and stronger (Yes I totally just went there.) I found myself paying more attention to the score than the film during my first viewing, even during some of the softer background tracks. My favorite of these BGM tracks is End of Line, which leads into the big single that we’ll discuss next.

Of course, the biggest, baddest, most Daft Punk-ey song is the single Derezzed. This song is classic Daft Punk, featuring heavy drum machine and synth work. For all the haters, this is your track. Loud house beats and heavy looping characterize this track, and it’s used fantastically in the movie for a hand-to-hand fight scene. On top of all that, we have an expertly crafted music video for Derezzed. The art style of this video is a mind-blowing mixture of old school Tron graphics with modern CGI. Unique in every way, this video solidifies that Daft Punk was the perfect choice for this film score, as their music video shows a love for the source material in a way I thought not possible:

So is the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack worth your time and money? I say absolutely. Though most soundtracks don’t hold up without their video counterpart, Daft Punk’s entry into film scoring is fantastic in every way. This album wholeheartedly stands on its own, and is a must buy for any fan of either Tron or Daft Punk. I can only hope that the already-rumored Tron 3 will feature the dynamic duo of house as its lead composers.

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