Try watching the DVD of Tron: 25th Anniversary Edition, focusing on the score. You didn’t remember the soundtrack and for one good reason: it was, at best unmemorable, as if Wendy Carlos (who also composed the music for The Shining) had been mandated by Disney to write something for their cartoons. Be glad Jeff Bridges and Cindy Morgan did not burst into show tunes.
But this is not 1982 anymore – Disney Studios has understood that there is an audience past teenage-hood, and electronic music has reached its maturity. So they let Joseph Kosinski choose some helmet-wearing-Tron-looking staples of the genre, Daft Punk, to compose the soundtrack of this much-anticipated movie.
These last few months a lot of fake ‘leaks’ have let fans believe that Daft Punk would continue their big beat tracks and produce an album of electronic music that would give the movie a fast pace rhythm of pure action. What Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter ended up releasing could not be further from that. This original soundtrack is deep, dark, and most surprisingly, comes from a duo that has always prided itself of its emotional detachment, is actually packed with humanity.
Navigating around several central melodic themes, which are reminiscent of Star Wars’ musical structure, the hour-long score transports the listener from scene to scene, from machine to human and back. But don’t be fooled by the organic and almost classical strings from "Adagio for Tron" or "Nocturne". Daft Punk crafts this soundtrack with their signature sound and layered musical construction already present on their first album, Homework. This is particularly evident on "Drezzed" (the first single from this record), "Recognizer", or "The Game Has Changed". The listener can easily imagine the content of each scene adorned by these short pieces of music. And they promise to be exciting.
For fans the only criticism is that the Tron soundtrack is not more of an electronic music album, but it really is a huge advantage. We already knew that DP wasn’t daft but now we are sure that they’re not young punks anymore. And they may even be human after all.
MP3 Stream: "End of Line"