On Second Thought: Daft Punk – Tron Legacy Soundtrack (2010)

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As Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” became the duo’s first UK charttopper — not to mention the most-streamed song in the history of Spotify — we returned to Tron Legacy, which saw goofy robot antics defrost Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter’s sound.

Actually, there’s always been a serious underpinning to the duo’s vintage vocoder sing-along vibe. Witness the air of wistful anxiety and impending doom in the animated videos for Discovery’s “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.”

Keep this in mind while recalibrating expectations for the Tron Legacy soundtrack. This was a mainstream film score, dark and ominous, relying as much on neo-classical orchestrations as electronics. As blockbuster soundtracks go, it was very good indeed. The main theme may get mutated and repeated a few times too many, but it is gripping and emotional, building to soaring majesty on “Disc Wars.”

It’s surprising that orchestra and electronics are so segregated, only mixing it up on a few cuts like “The Game Has Changed.” Mostly the cues are either classical film music in the Hans Zimmer/Howard Shore mode, or electronic pieces that sound more like Daft Punk’s influences Tangerine Dream and Giorgio Moroder that anything that DP has produced.

What’s missing is Daft Punk’s old sense of fun, at least until “Derezzed” kicks in. The retro video game tune brings back DP’s old neon roller rink style.

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Patrick Moran

Patrick Moran

Chicago native Pat Moran is a filmmaker who has produced and written five feature films, and served as producer and editor for Western Classics, a film series hosted by actor James Best. He also writes about music for Creative Loafing Charlotte. The best job title he ever had was "part-time vampire." Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Patrick Moran
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