Album Reviews: Daft Punk use a real orchestra to paint a virtual world

Daft Punk

Tron: Legacy OST

***

Some 28 years after the cult classic film Tron was released, the soundtrack to its 21st century sequel has been produced by French electronic music duo Daft Punk. It's surprising then that as a virtual-world worker tries to take down the Master Control Program in this second film, the accompanying music, though powerful and evocative, is for the most part, not typically Daft Punk. It's a full classical orchestra, not synths, which is the conduit for much of the drama and anticipation. It's only half way through the soundtrack that you finally get the feeling you're in a computerised setting. As if simultaneously channelling War Of The Worlds and Jean Michel Jarre, tracks, including The Grid, feature male voiceovers and a spacey 1970s electro-disco feel. This album doesn't make for easy listening as many of the 22 tracks are short pieces of incidental music. Only a handful, including End Of Line and Derezzed, will please Daft Punk fans looking for punchy, stand alone dance anthems.

Deadmau5

4X4=12

***

Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmerman, has emerged as one of the biggest acts on the dance scene in the past few years. This is Deadmau5's third album and the beats are relentless, single Sofi Needs A Ladder packs a punch as guest vocalist Sofi adds a ton of attitude. The pace only lets up a little for the beginning of Raise Your Weapon with its mournful piano and vocals by Greta Svabo Bech, then launching into a dark and dirty baseline. In all, a consistent collection and the kind of album you'd expect from Deadmau5.

Coronation Street

Rogues, Angels, Heroes & Fools

****

The colourful characters and memorable plots of Coronation Street lend themselves so well to musical form, it's a wonder it's taken 50 years to produce this album. As the soap celebrates its half-century, a host of Street stars and other singers take on some of the most famous figures from the cobbles in Coronation Street: Rogues, Angels, Heroes & Fools. Kym Marsh features as the original tart with a heart Elsie Tanner on the wistful I Know How It Feels. Kevin Kennedy reprises the role of lovable Curly Watts on the sweet Your Star Shines So Bright, and Brian Capron is back as villainous Richard Hillman on Norman Bates With A Briefcase. Rounding off the album is Eh Chuck, a heart-warming tribute to the Rovers Return. A stage show is in the works for next year, but for now this release is a must for all die-hard Corrie fans.

VARIOUS

For Colored Girls

***

Thirty-five years after its stage debut off Broadway, Ntozake Shange's landmark feminist drama For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf has finally been adapted for the big screen.

Tyler Perry's film has had mixed notices in the States but its ensemble cast – that includes Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton and Janet Jackson – proved a decent draw.

The cast all feature here in the introductory track on this soundtrack album, a somewhat wordy affair that probably makes more sense in the context of the film. But there are easier to enjoy contributions from Estelle, Laura Izibor and Donny Hathaway's velvet-voiced daughter Lalah.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings's number Longer & Stronger is predictably soulful; Leona Lewis' ballad I Know Who I Am is predictably slushy.

Better by far is Janelle Monae's funky workout Without a Fight. DS