Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (OST)

Exclusive Daft Punk music video for "Derezzed" including some never-before-seen footage from Tron Legacy film. Keep reading underneath for the FULL review of the Tron Legacy Soundtrack by Daft Punk.

Daft Punk return with the soundtrack to the upcoming film Tron Legacy, but is this worth gracing your record collection with?

Firstly, this album has to be taken into context. It is, after all, a motion picture soundtrack, it's the score for Disney's Tron Legacy and isn't meant to be a pop album by any means. However, I have a lot of time for music scores - the obvious ones being Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams etc. but I find it extremely satisfying when producers bring in an outside source to give some remarkable results. Think of Air with The Virgin Suicides, the musical genius that is Kevin Shields with Lost In Translation, okay so they are both Sofia Coppola films but still, you get my point. So in this instance, Daft Punk score the new Tron film and it's surprisingly a mature effort from one of the most successful leading dance crossover artists around.

I wouldn't recommend this album if you are expecting a classic Daft Punk album full of riffs, hooks, and samples because it is nothing like they have ever done before. Instead, it takes you on a journey similar to that Vangelis took people on in Blade Runner, it's dark, epic sounds with a synth backbeat is perfect. Now, I used to absolutely love driving at night listening to Vangelis, especially with a cigarette in my hand. It made me feel like I was driving around in a dark, dystopian future in my own world (if you haven't done it, I'd recommend it) but I can't wait to do the same with this album, it creates a subtle yet chilling atmosphere that is perfect for a film score. In particular, half way through the album it picks up the beat slightly and turns into something you'd hear in a futuristic neon nightclub before the final comedown.

The French duo have clearly pulled out all the stops and taken this all incredibly seriously. You have to remember that some of these 22 tracks sound very similar and you'll be hard pushed to distinguish one from the other but it is supposed to be used for running underneath footage, not to release singles from. Also for all you foghorn fans who enjoyed the scores of the incredible Shutter Island and Inception, then there's quite a bit of that for you too. Surely foghorns are the sound of 2010? Not Cheryl Cole. Though they are quite similar perhaps. But the general feel, is that of a dark, post-apocalyptic Eighties B-Movie (which is kind of how Tron's first incarnation might have been regarded) brought up to date and produced to a high quality - which sounds like a perfect combo to me.

After opening song Overture pipes up, you already know you're in for an epic ride and when Jeff Bridges' voice comes in to describe The Grid, you see a world within computers, much like how you could describe Daft Punk's sound and 'then one day ... I got in'. The score then enters as you can almost picture yourself walking into this digital landscape they have created around you. The Son of Flynn has that typical French sound that runs throughout and when Recognizer kicks in, you feel the pace heighten as something dark seems to be gearing up which leads into the disturbing, sinister Armory. Arena then slowly builds up from silence into a Terminator-esque rhythm which feels like a tribal, battle sound that I'm guessing it wants to create. This sweeps nicely into Rinzler, as the battle drums turn more threatening and it builds up with The Game Has Changed and soon, those Inception style horns kick in with that robotic, digital underbelly that only Daft Punk can pull off successfully.

Outlands conjures up a feeling of mystery and intrigue that slows down for Adagio For TRON where a sadness must occur during the film, or something rather emotional as the violins kick in and then soon that dark, digital sound comes back in. This is an example of the entire album really - it builds an epic landscape where the digital sounds are a constant sinister threat and seem to be chasing you throughout, something that I imagine will be the same in the film where, after all, the technology is the enemy.

Nocturne again is a slower song that seems to end the more reflective part of the album and End Of Line comes in with some absolutely amazing synths that put the hairs up at the back of my neck which soon turns into Derezzed which I'm guessing will be remixed to fuck the next coming months and something I could see at any Daft Punk set. It's probably the stand out track of the entire piece and more immediately accessible than the other tracks.

Fall then enters the scene with what you can imagine to be a dramatic moment in the film with a sweeping score until Solar Sailer calms it back down. The horns get going again in Rectifier which clearly describes some strange danger ahead and then melts into Disc Wars (I think we know what scene this might be from). It takes a while to build up, but the French-electro duo once again clearly put their stamp on a track that could have easily sounded like any other big budget Hollywood score. C.L.U is very similar to the song before but with a tinge of violence (maybe it's the Psycho stabs?) before moving down some musical scales into those recognisable threatening horns and then the drum machine coming back in before an abrupt ending.

Arrival is a classic post-event comedown score which you can imagine where the hero is being reflective on the events that have just happened in C.L.U. Flynn Lives (is that a spoiler?!) is another comedown song that is both beautiful, epic and heroic as it builds back up to a fanfare of sorts.

TRON Legacy (End Titles) is again one of the stand out songs. It sounds like an 8-Bit computer game that you can imagine is worth sitting in the cinema afterwards listening to, because you could probably never hear it that loud again for a while. It's simple yet stylised sound is incredible, especially about 1:20 in when those epic synths come in to add that sweeping sound that makes you realise you've probably just watched an incredible action film (which I'm hoping I will). The Finale song you can tell is the big comedown after the preceding songs, and won't be too out of place in Lord of the Rings or something as it majestically rides over those digital beats leaving a satisfied feeling like every good Disney film should have.

One criticism would be that, unfortunately the songs don't really last too long, most being a couple of minutes or so, which means just as a song is gearing up it's over. However, it's the best background music you could have for anything in my opinion and they've done a fantastic job.

I'm not lying when I say this is one of the best score's to a film yet. I can already taste what kind of a film Tron Legacy will be, and if it's anything like the music Daft Punk have created, it's going to be one hell of a film. Maybe they can do us a favour and take this on tour? Maybe I'm revelling in the hype I'm creating, but I've rated this as a film score and NOT as a typical Daft Punk album - remember it's a different kettle of fish. The songs aren't created for the sole audio experience, but as a guide for what you see onscreen and if they can still impress and tell a story without visual aid, then it's got to be good. Which is why I'm giving this...

Rating: 9/10

Now where's my car keys and fags ...


  1. "..remember it's a different kettle of fish. The songs aren't created for the sole audio experience"

    love it!

  2. ha! I wonder who else would have picked up on that