Review Summary: Hey, wait, this isn't Discovery.
In at the deep end: Tron: Legacy
is a soundtrack
! Daft Punk's phone rings one afternoon, and the French trailblazers agree to score Joe Kosinski's new movie. So the creative process is fucked, a pre-determined visual framework having taken care of all the overarching questions, leaving only the interpretation of concept art and all those decisions of detail for an outfit that normally takes its cues from within. An album written by Daft Punk, then, but by no means a Daft Punk album, so it would be grossly unfair to judge this OST as a stand-alone record were it not so damn great
Because this is a music site, we'll do things without the movie, thanks, but hey, don't worry - Daft Punk have brought it with them anyway. These are twenty-two evocative tracks to close your eyes to, as the electronic and the orchestral war over centre-stage, the result being a swaggering atmosphere with two co-existing faces: the first, understated and robotic; the second, dramatic and sprawling. Daft Punk still exist in the strings and thuds and recurring motifs, but it's in no way unmistakably them; truth is, Tron: Legacy
sounds like a band born to write the score for Tron: Legacy. That's not an exaggeration.
Perhaps the most striking thing is how Tron: Legacy
retains its urgency despite its length; sure, occasionally the music here drifts, sometimes a deliberate part of the soundtrack's ebb and flow, other times a bloated or too-familiar passage of string instruments, but this album is never boring
; it feels almost post-rock in construction, hooking onto your imagination and making shapes out of epic climaxes and rolling rhythms, creating pictures despite being set to none. It's both relaxing and invigorating, and at points almost sinister; it thrives on the contrasting duality of its components, and the product is huge.
And I'm still not talking about the movie, simply the way the waves of atmospherics take control of your retina burns and guide them; you may not have seen Tron: Legacy, but you'll have heard it. As a separate entity, surely the aim of a soundtrack is to conjure the same range of reactions as the film it's 'supposed' to accompany; it may not cover all that much ground, but it completely nails the mood. While in no way perfect, this record is every bit as precious as the movie, and proof that cinema is not the only thing that can be cinematic.