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Album Review
Tron Legacy (Soundtrack)

Tron Legacy (Soundtrack)
by Daft Punk


Review Date
13th February 2010
Reviewed by
Brannavan Gnanalingam

As someone who is pretty avidly into film, it’s been pretty crushing watching the demise of Hollywood film soundtracks as an artform. Daft Punk, as one of the great bands of the last fifteen years, ought to have arrested the slide a little bit. However, their soundtrack to the box office smash Tron: Legacy confirms that Hollywood’s reliance on audience hand-holding soundtracks is affecting the music being composed, and Daft Punk’s soundtrack is yet another unmemorable, samey sounding film score.

The film’s press has made great use of the fact the album features an 85 piece orchestra. All I can say is that it must have been boring to be a part of that orchestra, as they sound kinda wasted. There were some moments of energy and power: the tightly coiled ‘The Game Has Changed’, or ‘Adagio for Tron’ which actually did something with its orchestra. And while it seems churlish to call ‘Derezzed’ the album standout given it sounds the most like old Daft Punk, it was by far the most genuinely interesting musical piece. Unfortunately it was only a minute and a half long. In the end however, there is nothing in this soundtrack to make it stand out over the top of any old run of the mill Hollywood soundtrack. It’s a pleasant enough listen with snatches of passion, but it hardly pushes the boundaries, despite Daft Punk’s professed influence of film soundtrack legends Vangelis and Bernard Herrmann.

Though it shouldn’t have been that way. The original Tron film became a cult classic, and Wendy Carlos’ groundbreaking, and for decades hard-to-source soundtrack was an integral part of the original film’s charm. The sequel is obviously a little bit of a cash-grab, and its box office success is perhaps testament to that. And as a blockbuster, no doubt, there would have obligations to make the film as much of a ride as possible to audiences. And because of this, though reportedly the film was cut to the soundtrack instead of the usual other way around, Daft Punk’s soundtrack still maintains a background music vibe. It’s hard to think that Daft Punk, despite being pioneers of electronic music, would ever be accused of being boring: but the lack of development in the pieces or in the album as a whole, meant the album is kinda that: boring.

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