According to IMDB, Bear McCreary created his first score only a decade ago. It was for a short film called A Good Lie. Four years later he worked on another short film called Periphery, Texas, and a few other unknown projects.Â But though McCreary began working on various projects consistently in 2002,Â it wasn’t until 2006, when he started work on “Battlestar Galactica” that he became a television composing sensation. He’sÂ since scored for the quirky SCI FI series “Eureka” and now lends his science fiction sensibilities to the new “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” for FOX. Needless to say, Executive Producer Josh Friedman made the right choice when selecting McCreary as the composr for his series.
McCreary is known for his cutting edge compositions (or as he puts it in the liner notes “edgy, contemporary sci fi credentials”) in “Battlestar Galactica” and he makes good use of those motifs for “The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Like most of McCreary’s soundtrack albums, this is more of a “best of” collection rather than a comprehensive compilation of music from the show. Specific tracks from certain episodes are selected and included, as are the opening title and end credits tracks. For completists, these compilations can be a little less than what they’re looking for, but the producers make sure to include enough good music (and most of the stuff you’re likely to remember from the show) to keep fans appeased.
The album opens with Shirley Manson (a recurring character on the show) crooning (or roaring, perhaps?) an original track calle “Samson and Delilah.” It’s good to hear Manson’s voice and the backup music isn’t too bad, but unfortunately, this song soundsÂ more like garbage than Garbage. The lyrics are painful and Manson doesn’t sound all too thrilled to be singing it. In the liner notes Manson says that when offered the chance to perform the song, she “would have said no but for the copious glasses of champagne…” It sounds like a subtle joke on paper, but after listening to the song, I can see why Manson would want to opt out of claiming to soberly want to perform this song.
The rest of the album belongs to McCreary and he demonstrates his untouchable talent in every track. McCreary establishes a sense ofÂ fast-moving action and intrigue early on and sticks with it throughout the album. Each track possesses a sense of forward motion that McCreary balances perfectly with aÂ grounding sense of realismÂ (“Derek’s Mission” and “Andy Goode’s Turk”Â provide perfect examples of this nonstop driving action). Though most of the album is somewhat dreary (fittingly), McCreary shows his whimsical side – his “Eureka” side, if you will – on the track “Atomic Al’s Merry Melody” which comes out something like “Looney Tunes” meets “The Simpsons.” Another standout track is “Motorcycle Robot Chase” which is one of the most futuristic score pieces I have had the pleasure of hearing. The music slams along with metallic clangs in the background slowly building to a crescendo that sounds like an asycnchrousÂ computer glitch mixed with McCreary’s standard drive. Transformers could have made good use of this sort of music.
Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: Sci Fi fans of any kind, but particularly McCreary fans
Stay Away if: You’re waiting for the comprehensive soundtrack… oh, what the hell, buy this one anyway while you wait
If you buy only one track, make it this one: “Motorcycle Robot Chase” – Nintendo music on acid
To purchase the soundtrack for “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, visit Amazon