When it was announced that influential French band Daft Punk would be creating the soundtrack for Tron Legacy, the sequel to Disney's cult classic videogame movie Tron, fans were salivating in anticipation. After all, the band's proto-futuristic sound seemed ideally matched to the chilly neon vision of the sci-fi blockbuster. But the "disappointing" result, which went on sale this week, has electro aficionados up in arms. Is it really that bad? (Listen to a song from the album)
Yes. Lack of ambition makes it a huge failure: Set next to the "impossibly Olympian standards" of Daft Punk's oeuvre, this soundtrack is "left wanting," says Julian Marszalek in Spinner. Rather than build on what they know, the "Gallic disco overlords" have opted for an "unadventurous score that plays into the usual orchestral clichés of grand sweep and swelling strings." It all sounds so similar, with moments of "creative excitement" few and far between. What a shame.
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Not entirely. As a soundtrack, it is a massive success: If you "try to critique the album for being a Daft Punk album," you'll feel let down, says Edmund Conway in The Daily Telegraph. "But it is a soundtrack." And Daft Punk has combined the hallmarks of the former — "synths and distorted beats" — with the orchestral stylings of the latter. The result is a "thing of somber, dystopic beauty," and a "serious joy" for fans of movie scores.
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It is the fans' fault: Too much hype made this a let-down: Anticipation about this album became an "extraordinary bubble of speculation," says Nitsuh Abebe in New York, so it's no surprise people are disappointed. And true, fans may balk at the absence of "the kind of bonkers giant-malfunctioning-computer thing" they've come to expect from Daft Punk. But this "good work" will definitely "suit the film extremely well." If anything, it's a lesson for the Internet not to get "irrationally exuberant about pop culture."
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