Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails, The Social Network, Daft Punk, Tron: Legacy, Golden Globes

I was kind of spacing off for a moment and quietly reflecting on Trent Reznor’s win last Sunday at the Golden Globes for Best Original Score.

After watching the ceremony last week, Reznor’s win along with the several additional trophies The Social Network took home that night, I was motivated to listen to the film’s soundtrack and slipped into it’s dithering electronic hum for an hour or so.

Reznor’s score is probably one of my favorites of the year. But another electronic act – Daft Punk – also ranks highly for their work on the Tron: Legacy soundtrack.

I am certain I am not the first to notice that these two genre powerhouses dipped a toe in Tinsletown this year. But I am struck by the disparity of their output.

While the Tron: Legacy soundtrack is enthralling and certainly grandiose in scope, it was criticized for not bringing enough of Daft Punk’s signature drive to the table. Some people found it a little heavy on the orchestration and a little light on the booty-shakin’ beats.

I appreciate the Tron: Legacy soundtrack for what it is, but admit I wish that the signature track “Derezzed” was about 15 minutes longer…

By comparison, Reznor’s work is very similar to much of Nine Inch Nails’ instrumental catalog. The atmosphere of the score fits in quiet comfortably with the dark, melodic underpinnings of NIN remix EPs like Still or Ghosts I–IV. In many cases, tracks retain the propulsive beat missing from Daft Punk’s soundtrack work – even if it veers into distorted, bleak territory.

I’m not arguing that either effort is better than the other. But it’s interesting to notice the trajectory of these artist’s work. Reznor stuck with a formula that’s been evolving for over 20 years and converged with director David Fincher’s vision for The Social Network.

Daft Punk, on the other hand, completely re-imagined their sound. A successful effort that fans were not expecting and was met with varying degrees of acceptance.

Just making observations. How about you? Do you own either soundtrack? Do you believe Reznor was deserving of his Golden Globe victory? Leave your comments below.