I’ve listened to the Daft Punk Tron soundtrack and it comes down to this: it’s boring. Terribly bland. Instantly forgettable. It sounds like the lowest level assistant tea-fetcher for Hans Zimmer submitted some simple sketches after five days of work, orchestrated by a professional and played by 100 of the finest studio musicians in a very expensive studio. With occasional electronic bleeps and bloops throw in at random.
It is an open secret that Daft Punk is only kind of sort of involved in the orchestral side of things, which represents the bulk of the album. It isn’t like they’re orchestrating, preparing parts or conducting. Whatever their involvement is past that point is really elementary level stuff. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. Daft Punk got played by Disney. Yep.
Why would you hire Daft Punk? For their music, right? OK, back up. Let’s say Daft Punk had no involvement with Tron whatsoever, and they released this Tron Soundtrack as a straight up Daft Punk album? How would fans respond? They’d revolt. This isn’t even remotely a Daft Punk album.
So, Disney hired Daft Punk to make music that doesn’t sound like Daft Punk, or, at least, bears little resemblance to anything Daft Punk has done in the past. The question remains, why use Daft Punk at all?
It should be obvious at this point: marketing. The original Tron soundtrack was composed and orchestrated by a person who, at the time, represented the pinnacle of electronic music production. This time around, Disney needed a name that represents the current state of electronic music production. As Daft Punk is coming off a recent Grammy-award winning year, they’re a natural choice. They’re the hot thing. Disney then proceeded to run their name through the marketing grinder, leveraging every last drop of milage out of the decision.
In short, Disney wanted the name, but, apparently, not the music.