Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy OST

by Rory McKeown Rating:4.5 Release Date:2010-12-01

Fans of Daft Punk, look away now… This is not the album you've waited years for. OK, you knew the legendary half-human/half-robot DJ duo had been fittingly hired by Disney to produce the soundtrack to up-coming sci-fi blockbuster Tron: Legacy - the follow up to 1982's classic Tron, a film widely regarded as heralding an era of CGI in cinema. But if you, like me, were blown away by the unleashing of the explosive 'Derezzed', the electro pioneers' first real new material since 2005's Human After All, it pains me to suggest it's likely you'll come away from this soundtrack feeling underwhelmed.

'Derezzed' is the only recognisable Daft Punk material during the entire 54 minutes, the rest is a predictable cinematic score you'd expect from a typical Hollywood money-spinner. Daft Punk, messers Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, donned their now jewel-encrusted helmets and set their sights as high as Mount Everest for this soundtrack by ditching the turntables and hiring a 90-piece full orchestra to produce its mammoth sound.

In an interview with Dazed & Confused magazine, the duo explained their newly-found penchant for the classical music genre by describing it as "powerful" and "this is what Daft Punk would have done in 1700". Thankfully, the tools at their disposal some 310 years later enable de Homem-Christo and Bangalter to rubberstamp their unfaultable technique on the style to give the soundtrack a substance that's a small notch above bearable.

Opener 'Overture' lays the foundation with rising strings and enormous cymbal crashes before Jeff Bridges, star of the original and follow-up, offers his voice for the 'Grid', in which he cryptically introduces the Tron story. 'The Son of Flynn' is reminiscent of Jean Michel Jarre's early sparse electronic soundscapes, and proceedings become more sinister in 'Recognizer', with the string section rising in urgency.

The soundtrack is just too overwhelming up until the spectacular 'Derezzed', an archetypical Daft Punk head-banger that's more than worth wading through 13 tracks and 30 minutes of mind-numbing background music. Finally, the strings are ditched for a racing drum beat and supersonic synthesisers. Although relatively short, one minute 44 seconds to be precise, 'Derezzed' excitedly rockets the listener into hyperspace via an out-of-control space machine. 'Fall' attempts to maintain the tempo before it descends into yet more mind-smothering orchestral set-pieces. The psychotic 'Rectifier' is a highlight, with its smattering of ear-piercing string stabs mixed with Cape Fear style horns, and will hopefully accompany the seat-squirming scenes within the picture.

It's difficult to criticise Daft Punk for this soundtrack; it's superbly produced and should be loved by regular listeners of the classical genre, but it's a laborious listen to at times and will disappoint many. There is no doubt orchestral music contributes to an incredible cinematic experience but listening to it on record fails to replicate that same excitement. Granted, I am reviewing this album before seeing the film but I would go as far to say it has probably put me off shelling-out for the extortionate admission fees if this, somewhat languid soundtrack is meant to accompany what has been billed as a 3D high-tech adventure. The soundtrack will generate megabucks for Disney but falls way short of Daft Punk's previous stellar material and has only heighted our yearning need for new material. I guess they're human after all.

Overall Rating (0)

0 out of 5 stars
  • No comments found
Related Articles