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Sunday, 12 December 2010

TRON: Legacy Special Edition Soundtrack Review

Oh wow guys and girlies it sure has been a hell of a long time since I last posted on here. I say this every time but so sorry about that. I have been rather busy since we last spoke but I will not bore you with that depressing nonsense. Although, I do want to tell you that 2011 will be a fresh start for the blog and for me in general. I will keep up with it and I already have ideas for posts. Expect a lot of "Best Of" posts from now until the end of the year. Phew... finally got that awkward metaphorical family cuddle out of the way. On with the post!

I figured that I would get back into the groove of blogging by talking about something that excites me both culturally and sexually... kinda. Unless you live under a rock you will know that THE film of the year is coming out (well as I'm writing this, the premier has already happened and luckier, well informed bloggers have seen it and posted) and not only is it going to be a landmark event but it also means that we have a treat musically. Again, unless you have been living under a rock Daft Punk have come out of Sleep Mode and produced the soundtrack to what should be the best film of the year (sorry Inception and Toy Story 3... you have had your fun, Flynn is back). Before I delve into this soundtrack review I just want to say I hate 3D. However, a film like this is what 3D should be about! Enough if a pre viewing film review! Let's get on with the soundtrack review!

The version I will be reviewing today is the pre order special edition version which comes with the free glow in the dark poster, which we will talk about in a little while. The special edition 2 dis album itself is just the same special edition 2 disc digipack you can buy in the shops. First things first, let's talk about the packaging of the CD. To sum it up in one word; beautiful! However, that would be cop out of the century so I'm going to go more in depth. It's a nice chunky digipack so you feel like you have bought more than just another CD. The card used for the packaging is a gorgeous mix of glossy and matte card has a really nice feel to it and isn't too hard yet not too soft. I don't know what type of card it is or the grain (if card is measured that way?) but I definitely believe it's the perfect balance and more albums should be brought out this way.

Next we move on to the actual design on and inside. The front cover is nice and simple. You can see the image above so I have no need to go in depth. However, there is one vital thing I must point out. The whole CD has a nice shiny, metallic look to it. When hit by the light, the blue design looks absolutely gorgeous especially the fact it's metallic blue on a black background. The same runs throughout the whole pakaging and the back of the CD is just as lovely. Inside the inner case of the CD does the same and looks awesome. The inner packaging has a Tron Disc which looks lovely. The CD's are also designed in the same style but aren't as shiny.
However, they still look amazing. Finally we get on to the nice booklet that comes w
ith the CD. Nothing to really go on about here, just what you expect. Various stills from the movie and lots of credits. Overall, this is a gorgeous package and I would definitely pay the extra couple of quid for the packaging alone. I haven't seen a digipack this nice since Moderat's debut album.

Before we get on with the actual music (which is what it's really about maaaaaan!) there is one thing I need to mention and that is the special edition glow in the dark Daft Punk poster. This was part of the pre order bonus but I think you may be able to still pick up the package from the official Tron soundtrack site. This poster is HUGE! A brilliant piece of merchandise for the hardcore Daft Punk fans. I am still yet to frame mine because who knows, this might be a really rare piece of kit in a few years (that was my greed talking). It's got a gorgeous look to it and the best thing about it is, it looks amazing glowing in the dark. I don't really need to say anymore about the poster so let's talk about the music.

Before I start I am going to have to have a sit down and talk with you (especially some of you clueless teenagers). Do not buy this album if you are one of the many idiots who can't develop their own taste and like to follow the trends. Some of you may be expecting another Daft Punk album full of future floor fillers... well I'm sorry this album is not for you. This album will be loved by fellow music lovers and people who are fans of Daft Punk's actual production skills. There are a couple of obvious Daft Punk productions here which sound like songs that didn't make it on to Human After All (which is one of my favourite Daft Punk albums) that you could find in a DJ set but the rest of this soundtrack is nothing like a Daft Punk album but more of a showcase of versatility and talent but I'm guessing most of you have a brain and can think for yourself so hopefully what I said won't apply to you. Usually when I review albums I go for a track by track review. However, considering there are so many tracks and some songs are either carrying on from another piece or are just variations, I don't think that would work here.

For the most part of this album, we are treated with the phenomenal sound of the London Orchestra. If you are familiar with the soundtrack to the original Tron film by Wendy Carlos you pretty much know what to expect from the French house maestros. The balance between orchestral and electronic music is perfect in this score. Daft Punk could have gone the more electro way with this but thankfully there are only a couple of songs on here that do that. However, they have picked a way where although there may be an orchestra playing, you can detect subtle hints of French fingertips tinkering with various technological sounds and gorgeous, deep waves of synth. There are tracks that are dark, haunting and sometimes ooze with peril. There are tracks that are uplifting, beautiful and bright in places. There also some genuinely epic and stirring songs which no lie, made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. Hopefully, going off the musical sequences, the film should be just as atmospheric as the soundtrack. If you liked the original score and if you liked the beautiful soundtrack by Vangelis for Blade Runner, this is going to be an absolute dream for you. This isn't just another generic soundtrack to a big budget movie, this is a genuinely beautiful, dark and moving body of work and a great branching out from Daft Punk who just showcase how talented they are at music production full stop.

Stand out tracks are hard to pick seeing as not once did I even feel the urge to skip tracks when I listened to this on the first play through. If I had to pick 5 tracks from this album they would be Tron Legacy (End Titles), Flynn Lives, Disc Wars, Solar Sailor and Adagio For Tron for no specific reason other than each track showcases different aspects of the soundtrack. Some peeople's obvious choices would be songs like Derezzed and End Of The Line but in all honesty I think they would have been better as stand a lone singles. That being said, it all depends how in context tracks like that fit into the film. I urge people to overlook these tracks at first and give the other more atmospheric and orchestral numbers a chance because that for me is the strong point of this soundtrack.

Finally we come to the 2nd disc; the extra tracks. I am guessing these are just tracks that either didn't end up making it into the film itself, are extra tracks that Daft Punk wanted to record or where for some reason just dropped from the main soundtrack release. I would say however, that these 5 extra songs have a more spacey and synthy feel and it really takes me back to hearing the also beautiful Blade Runner soundtrack for the first time. This collection of songs is just as beautiful as the ones on the main disc.

In terms of special features you obviously have the awesome poster, extra music and you also get some added content when you put the discs in the computer. It's just the usual stuff like making of features, trailers and image galleries but they are great companians with the soundtrack (although my only gripe of all comes in to play, on the 1st disc I had to input all the song data into itunes because the extra content for some reason stopped the tracks and all info being placed on the album which was annoying). You get a lot and it's a great example of you getting more for buying the best edition.

Overall, this is a fantastic package altogether. High quality packaging, amazing music, awesome poster and lots of extras to wet your taste buds for the film out later this month. I will admit, I love electronic music but Daft Punk are not in my top 10 so I was more than surprised and overjoyed with the final product. I have untold respect for Daft Punk and knew I would get a high quality body of music but the dread I felt that this would be just another Daft Punk album did make me worry. Needless to say, this is an amazing album and I cannot stress how amazing this is. I urge you all to buy it. It can only become a better listen after watching the film and I am really looking forward to hearing this on a decent cinema's soundsystem. This is one of the best albums of the year and one of my favourite Daft Punk albums, such a welcome change to the norm and like I said, it proves how talented our French robot friends really are. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I did.

CD 1
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

Bonus Features:
Music Video, Trailers, Photo Gallery

CD 1
Encom Part 1
Encom Part 2
Round One

Bonus Features:
Videos including Making Of and The World Of Tron



Below is a video I made of myself unpacking the parcel when I received the soundtrack so please feel free to check it out and hear my first impressions lol I will also be recording a mini review of the soundtrack to go with this more in depth review. Enjoy!