Here’s where you can enter a world and ride upon a plane of unnatural existence becoming the only existence, becoming the reality, becoming natural. Daft Punk puts us here with this most riveting chronological musical of the story of Flynn meeting his son on the grid.
Irony is found throughout this sound track from full on orchestration to electronic. Parts each standing alone and in others them being used together without flaw. The natural becomes the unnatural and vice-versa. This soundtrack holds this through and through while telling an exact story with music.
You are thrust into this world in The Overture. Yet, curious, for what you hear is a twist of your thoughts for two words: Daft Punk. What? Smart classical and evolving orchestration is found in this soundtrack’s theme which The Overture sets. However, there is a natural expectation held of what you are looking for when you think of Daft Punk. Nonetheless you realize you are about to go into the depths of the talents of this duo and they deliver.
The theme is dark in color yet airy, light and in parts, extremely heavy in weight and brevity. You here a common familiarity in this theme’s music capturing hints of melody reminiscent of The Ryan’s Hope theme. However it carries so much more in navigation and pathology giving the listener gifts of surprise along the way to be found in what is comforting.
The Grid, a digital frontier… The Grid lets you know you are about to be told a story about an environment. It is a natural growth and slight extension of the Overture taking up a slightly different texture with a guitar part playing with a more rythmic foundation. Here is the true introduction to the story.
The Grid leads you to the first chapter The Son of Flynn. It’s a prince’s bed. It’s somewhat pulled back and lighter than the theme but dancing along with an arpeggio seeming like the youthful version of the adult theme. It shows that the son is from the father and the son carries the same power as his father, yet with his own definition. Just as the story of the father and son, in the movie.
Recognizer is the entrance to the new world. Running arpeggios with mid-section strings and heavy low brass percussive hits, gives one the feeling of immaculate majesty. It is the first hurdle to pass, with many others to conquer. It’s in a dark unfamiliar place and your adrenaline begins to flow. The struggle is felt for a fight unknown. It still grabs the main theme, but it carries a newfound heaviness and darkness not yet known. This heaviness is found in the next songs Armory, Arena, and then the sizzling Renzler. All of which carry a lower tone low bouncing eighties sounding eighth notes, big blasting low brass and orchestrations of the theme flowing though them. They go together, they happen quickly, and define this new world.
Rinzler is the arena hero. This competitor warrants an introduction before he competes. This soundtrack contains Rinzler’s intro and drives the adrenaline for us to prepare, get pumped and fight. With the explosive reverberated arena drum booms and a low running hmmm then a high one and same note higher end bass tone eighths, with a slow mid string section arpeggio, a slow mid and then the higher end bass tone goes up, goes middle and then goes down. It grows, it rushes, it wants, it pounds its determined it has only one meaning. Dominate. Becoming another unique irony that can be found in this movie’s overall theme.
Then The Game Has Changed enters with a softer texture but arriving with the same texture as Rinzler carring much of the same feeling but giving the impression of fleeting into The Outlands which is a patient yet fast pace orchestration. Moving a million miles an hour without rushing, I don’t know how it is done, but they do it here. To find one self’s heart beating with passion and a cry to get there and then that journey ends with Adagio for Tron a slow moving eloquent string piece that finds itself combining symphonic orchestration with electronica then finds a solo viola over the string adagio that began the song to slowly and sadly enter Nocturne. Nocturne is even slower and sadder.
They give way to their common renown of electronica in the next two tracks beginning with the slick mid-tempoed End of Line that grooves with a sweet eighties progressive feel. Its drops easy, cool- ass electronica groovy oovy that just make you wanna bob your head and say yeah. It leads to Derezzed, a basic up and down quick electronic dance tune for a scene.
Fall comes next with the low booms, string arpeggios and the three note chord progression going up instead of going down this time. This song mixes up the melodic elements found in the other songs with different instrumentation found in this one. This song exemplifies Daft Punks power in orchestration in making a song that is totally different, feel and sound the same with proper application of the music while blending electronic with symphonic without blemish.
Solar Sailor has the same softness as Son of Flynn, the same slowness as Adagio and Nocturne. Yet this piece has an uplifting hope by the melody going up in tone. It also offers the sweetest surprise of a swift, sexy, down-walking bass fill after each sixteen bar phrase.
Next is Rectifier that has the same feeling of The Wicked Witch of the West’s Soldiers marching in the Wizard of Oz. Oh we Oh. Uh ohhh oh. This song is a stiff march song that offers the feeling of thrilling suspense, of not knowing what army you are about to face.
Disc Wars touches upon a tribal rhythm with a synchopated in and out rhythm landing with the themed chord progression. They continue to deliver with arpeggios and blasting drums then building to an electronic arpeggio on top of the string then the low sixteenths delayed sixteenths ever evolving Flight.
Then C.L.U. continues on with the same three chord theme coming with the blasting drums while grabbing onto new themes found in later songs on the album, such as the delayed effects, and various, intensifying layers of arpeggios and eighth note rhythms. C.L.U. then gives way back to a slow regal version of the theme called arrival you feel the end nearing before being thrust back into a string arpeggio race of the theme in Flynn Lives.
Next they give you the electronic version of the theme with Tron Legacy (end titles), and then the full symphonic theme in Finale and Father and Son in which both of these pieces begin slow and softly, building in loft and density. They start with Finale to modulate up in tune while starting over with a slightly different texture in Father and Son leaving the listener with a most exquisite and regal farewell.
Daft Punk has given the world a new parallel to how far their music can go, not only in style and genre, but also the depths of where their music can go in story and theme. The movie itself is a movie of iconic posturing, and breathtaking choreography that almost seems to possibly had been made for this story in the soundtrack. The level of compelling mastery of scenery and emotions, with music, is without question heard, felt and experienced in this soundtrack and thanks to Daft Punk we now have a chance to enter The Grid…