EurekaWhile I’ve never seen an episode of the SciFi Channel show Eureka, after listening to Bear McCreary’s work for the show, I feel like I have. For those familiar with Battlestar Gallactica, McCreary is the mad genius behind that show’s unwaveringly impressive scores. Executive Producer Charlie Craig said that McCreary was brought in for the second season of Eureka after they heard his work on Battlestar Gallactica. And what’s most interesting about this choice is that McCreary’s work here is that where McCreary goes all dark and foreboding in Battlestar Gallactica, here he’s all about playing the goofy card, only he somehow manages to keep it from actually sounding goofy… it just sounds like unwaveringly impressive music with a whimsical twist, or as McCreary himself calls it: “A crazy mix of genres and styles, as diverse and intriguing as the many citizens of Eureka.”

Each track has its own distinct themes and motifs to explore and McCreary never settles on a simple sound when a more surprising or unusual one will make the difference. Just listen to the almost random bass in “Through the Vortex” or the sudden vocals in “Sheriff Carter’s Theme,” which, by the way, are some of the funniest/most appropriately odd vocals I’ve ever heard in a score. There are numerous themes here, including “Fargo’s Theme” (an eclectic mix of high notes and bass), “Henry’s Theme” (one of the more emotional pieces on the album, featuring a slowly strummed guitar), “Taggart’s Theme (country music meets The Simpsons), Alison’s Theme (a track that sounds surprisingly similar to the Ben Folds Five hit “Brick”) and the aforementioned “Sheriff Carter’s Theme.” These themes help establish the personalities of the characters, while the rest of the tracks give us a feel for the town and the adventures that the episodes unfold.

Tracks like “The Laser Cannon” give you a sense of what McCreary can do with foreboding, though it quickly plays out into a NES-like theme that has the perfect blend of drive and build. Even the slow moments here are perfectly worked in, and it sounds even better when it fades into the R&B grooves of “Noche de Suenos.” There are quick tracks (like the Mission Impossible-esque “Victor’s Getaway”) and long tracks (like the almost six-minute long “A Nuke For Fargo”, a track that covers more ground and envelops more musical genres than seems possible. Overall, McCreary provides almost 80 minutes of innovative and surprisingly quirky music. I only say surprising considering his past work. From here on out it’s clear that McCreary is probably capable of anything.

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: An eclectic, yet well-tied mix of R&B, nintendo, country, folk and classical music
Stay Away if: You take your music way too seriously
If you only get one, make it this one: “EurekAerobics” – I don’t know what kind of crazy ’80s kick McCreary had to go on to make this song happen, but you’ll be glad he did

To purchase the score for Eureka, visit Amazon

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