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Album review: 'Tron: Legacy' score by Daft Punk

December 6, 2010 |  7:48 pm

TRON_SNDTK_240 Those unnerved by the advent of computer-composed classical works should breathe easier: The robots of Daft Punk have written a film score, recorded with the help of an 85-piece orchestra. If the machines are taking over, then the future of composing is in capable LED-lit hands.

Over their long career, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have stood apart from their dance-floor peers for their meticulousness in sculpting long-form tracks that deploy brainy means (virtuoso filter work, interplay between sonic compression and wide track dynamics) to joyful, primal ends. In a genre all about timbre, there’s no production duo that sounds as good.

This system works just as well out of the club and in the concert hall with the “Tron: Legacy” score. From the crackling main synth theme on “The Grid” to the distant timpanis on “Disc Wars,” the duo seamlessly grafts its phosphorescent ambience onto the orchestra’s dystopia-dripping arrangements. The band is unafraid to let its technical wizardry take a backseat to its compositions on tracks such as “Adagio For TRON” and “Flynn Lives.” But the propellant, digitized stutter of “Derezzed” and the melancholy smears of “Solar Sailer” show a Romantic streak in Daft Punk’s heart of wires and microchips.

— August Brown

Daft Punk
“Tron: Legacy” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Walt Disney Records
Three stars (out of four)