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Thursday, October 09, 2008


Music by Bear McCreary
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1076 (US)
28 Tracks 76:52 mins

At first I found Bear McCreary's offbeat style of scoring for the reimagining of sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica hard to take, but the more I got into the series, the more I could see it was wholly appropriate for the very different look and style of the show. Presumably, his music will again feature when the show returns in the new year. In the meantime, he has been providing more conventional scoring for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Eureka is another show keeping the composer busy and is now in its third season on the SciFi Channel. I haven't seen anything of it, but it is described a "quirky character study" of the residents of a top-secret Pacific Northwest town, and McCreary's approach certainly reflects this. The composer himself describes his work thus: "in addition to the woodwinds, strings and guitars, I layered in 80s and 90s synthesizer textures, inspired by the 8-bit and 16-bit video game consoles of my youth. So, the score could best be described as chamber-orchestra meets blue-grass/zydeco meets 80s-new-wave meets Super Mario Brothers - if that makes any sense at all." The approach also enabled McCreary to use his beloved accordion.
Certainly, the composer's efforts are much appreciated by the show's Executive Producer Charlie Craig, who enthuses about the music, singling out his favourite themes in the colourful accompanying booklet, which also features a note from McCreary himself, as well as musician credits.
So to the album, which commences with the bouncy whistled main title theme, which was actually composed by Mark Mothersbaugh and John Enroth (McCreary didn't start on the show uhntil the second season). The following "Sheriff Carter's Theme" continues the mood and proceeds in similar bouncy fashion, but more forcefully. "Prehistoric Love Spores" is grounded in the '80s, another catchy piece; whilst "Allison's Theme" is surprisingly conventional and quite sweet."Through The Vortex" is a nervy, guitars-driven affair, with the stealthy, semi-comedic "Fargo's Theme" following. A touch of old Mexico features in "The Mask of Fargo," with Carlos De la Paz's Spanish guitar intro and Peter Deter De Siena's dramatic trumpet playing. The romantic "When You Wish Upon Falling Debris" follows. "Henry's Theme" is by contrast quite complicated and enigmatic. A return to the bouncy quirkiness comes with "Taggart's Theme;" and also the fast-paced "The Laser Cannon," after an ominous opening. "Noche De Sueros" adds a certain funkiness to proceedings, but turns somewhat suspenseful in its mid-section. "Henry and Beverly" is a suspenseful mover, with martial undertones, turning almost tango-like at its conclusion, but is followed by much lighter fare in the charming, yet quirky "Jack and Callie." "Erotomania!" and "Threat of Nuclear Cleaning" feature guitar and percussion-driven action; with "Sheriff Carter's Theme" returning for "A Town Called Eureka." A slightly longer version of the main title theme closes the album; with the seductive song "Let's Get Hitched," performed by Brendan McCreary, and Captain Ahab's disco-styled EurekAerobics" completing the lineup.
La-La Land Records have been championing Bear McCreary's work for some time now, what with their Battlestar albums and his score for Wrong Turn 2, and in addition to Eureka they will also be releasing his music for Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Rest Stop 2 before the year's out, so check out their website at


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