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Review: “Tron Legacy” Soundtrack

The sequel to the 1982 film Tron, the aptly titled Tron: Legacy, is set to be released mid December with both Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their former roles of Kevin Flynn and Alan Bradley, respectively. Amongst the excitement of cult lovers for this long awaited film, is the additional glee that the soundtrack, or rather the score, has been entirely composed by the electronic duo Daft Punk.

Admittedly daunted by the thought of only a two person operation performing the entire score, Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter recruited an 85-piece orchestra to help accomplish and expand not only the track listing but the presence of sound. Given this, the score is nothing like Daft Punk’s commercial releases, until the Tron Legacy (End Titles) track that is. It sacrifices the catchy pop beats of Daft Punk’s usual style for, at times, sombre, triumphant and dark layering that undoubtedly captures the moment and feeling of the intended scene. I suppose it is not innovative in subject matter or feeling, but that could be attributed to the film and not the minds or musical ingenuity of the makers themselves. That being said, what has been created for this film is beautiful.

From the beginning, the soundtrack reveals itself and the story of Tron: Legacy: a son haunted by the disappearance of his father and lead to him through a strange signal which catapults him into a world where his father has been trapped for the last 20 years. Within this stunning digital and futuristic world, father and son fight to escape, using unimaginable weaponry and vehicles across dreamlike landscapes, hoping to thwart the villain that desires to keep them in. Moving through the listing, each track conjures an emotion and image of what the song is supposed to entail: ‘The Grid’, the only track with audio, features Jeff Bridges’ in character describing what the Grid is, how information filters through it and ultimately how he penetrated the Grid to create the universe he now lives in. Maybe initially obvious with the vocal direction; however, the echoing, metallic sounding sounds accompanied by increasing violins creates the emotion of stress and struggle eventually leading to realization and success by control and invention. Similarly, ‘Outlands’ with a similar duelling violin introduction creates the motion of escape—rushing at boundless speed against fight or struggle—or revelation upon discovery of truth or journey.

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What is so great about this score is again in the remarkableness of no similarities between it and Daft Punk, save for the aforementioned end titles track. That track seems to be a signature of sorts; a tongue-and-cheek statement declaring them as the makers of this wonderful score. It is distinctively Daft Punk; heavier in repeating bass beats, with the characteristic flare of laser like sound effects and features a more modernistic/pop-edged rendition of the initial theme song. And for this, it is not so much an inclusion within the score descriptive nature, but more a stylistic finish to a film. At points, it is rather impressive that the duo could come up with such complex instrumental layering and adapt to an environment so far beyond the Daft Punk scope. Maybe the Daft Punk scope is all inclusive or forever expanding, but if anything, it’s just nice to see Jeff Bridges getting work.

– Kaitlin McNabb

Track listing (Recommended tracks are highlighted and ready to listen to)

01. Overture
02. The Grid
03. The Son Of Flynn
04. Recognizer
05. Armory
06. Arena
07. Rinzler
08. The Game Has Changed
09. Outlands
10. Adagio For Tron
11. Nocturne
12. End Of Line
13. Derezzed
14. Fall
15. Solar Sailer
16. Rectifier
17. Disc Wars
18. C.L.U.
19. Arrival
20. Flynn Lives
21. Tron Legacy (End Titles)
22. Finale