Saturday, February 26, 2011

Daft Punk - Tron Legacy Soundtrack

Daft Punk - Tron Legacy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Published in 2010

One - iPod

So, yeah, this is going to be a weird one. I was going to do a different soundtrack for this one, but a bus ride with my limited iPod has somewhat forced me to choose this one, because I had it and couldn't sleep.

Let's talk about soundtracks for a second. Soundtracks exist in a strange place between music and movies. Some movies are enhanced by their soundtracks, while others are completely dated by them. Dirty Work, dates itself completely by featuring two of the ninetiesist nineties songs to ever ninties ever in it's first couple of minutes. However, there are the iconic ones that will never leave your head. The End, by the Doors, playing over the end of Apocolypse Now (that whole soundtrack captures something ineffable about the time and place of the movie.) the Pixies at the end of Fight Club. Steeler's Wheel in Reservoir Dogs. These are songs that have been repurpsed to fit a particular moment, making it have a heightened resonence.

The other side of this is the orchestral score, or the music composed for the film. Imagine Star Wars without the music by John Williams. Or for that matter Jurassic Park, ET, Jaws, Indiana Jones. How would all those French horn players make any money? Or The Social Network without the bizarrely intense Trent Reznor score. Or a musical like Nightmare Before Christmas.

The distinction that I am making is that movie soundtracks generally fall into an either or proposiion. Either it is used by the movie because it is a pop culture song, or it is made for the movie. In general, the latter fit better than the former. Mainly because when you are hearing the song of last summer for the thirtieth time in a movie that year, it has a certain distracting quality to it that our friend Mr. Bale knows quite well. (Two year old pop culture ephemera joke? Sign me up!)

Tron: Legacy dealt with the soundtrack issue very well. They brought in two of the most talented digital associated artists and seemingly gave them carte blanche to do whatever they wanted to. What you get is actually a quite impressive mixture of the two kinds of music that normally accompany movies.

Daft Punk is an enigmatic group, performing sampled and created music from behind a dj booth. Their albums in general are consistantly good. They have super dance party music. They make thinking people's electronic music.

However, on this album, I think it is their more orchestral prices that stand out for me. They have a different flavor than just the pure electronic ones, and I think that gives them a texture that your average daft punk song lacks, or at least isn't striving for.

This is a fucking cool album. It's maybe not particularly repeat listenable, but it has some really moving and amazing parts. The highlight is of course the scenes from the bar in the movie, just because that plays to their strengths so much, but the rest of the soundtrack sounds good. It also fits well with the tone of the franchise, for better or worse.

Now, because I have to, let's talk about the movie. I appreciated what they did with it, and I actually quite enjoyed it, but I can see the flaws. I just took those flaws as hearkening back to the insanity that was the first movie. Also, any movie with Jeff Bridges acting in two roles is somewhat cool, although CLU was a monster deep in the uncanny valley if you looked at him.

However, give me the moment where Renzler slams into CLU saying "I fight for the users" any day of any given period of time, and I will be completely psyched. I don't care how silly it sounds, it was spectacular just to see that little bit.

Never mind the fact that they threw a bunch of mythology away to make this, it was quite fun.

A good soundtrack doesn't get in the way of the images on screen. A great soundtrack adds feeling and depth to those images, creating pathos and feeling behind the images. By this standard, Tron succeeds incredibly. If you have an ear for music, you can pick out whose music cues are whose, and you can hear the movies universe going by. And who wouldn't want to spend more time in a universe where lightcyfles exist and programs are made to fight?

Thanks for bearing with me through this one. I hope you could give a couple of tracks a spin. I particularly like End of Line.

Next week - KANYE

There is only one way to end this one.
"I fight for the users!"

PS. Hey Kids! Give Phil Five! OR BURN! IN HELL! FOREVER! Also, comment below, and I'll Give Phil Five for you, cause I am buying my way to heaven five dollars at a time.

PPS. We're done with May at this point, so suggest some more damn albums so I can stop doing ones that I love.  It's really hard to be critical of shit that I suggest myself.


  1. For a change, an internet comment that I make will actually do somebody some good

  2. Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that we have just had our best month yet. One thousand page views in under a month! Thanks guys! I'll keep writing them if you keep reading them.


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