Top positive review
Absolutely one fantastic score!
February 10, 2015
Wow! What an awesome soundtrack! Bear McCreary has got to be the king of TV soundtracks. I loved his work on "Battlestar Galactica", "Black Sails", and "Da Vinci's Demons". I previewed this particular score last month and was just floored by "The Skye Boat Song" which features Raya Yarbrough. I just couldn't get enough of this theme. I ended up watching the main titles for the show on You Tube over and over again just to hear the music. Listening to it today...man it gives me goosebumps! I don't know much about the show. My wife has read a few of the books but we have never seen the show. I didn't even know they turned this into a TV show (don't have cable)...but they sure did pick the right composer for the job!
The music obviously reflects the Scottish setting of the show. So if your a fan of Bag Pipes, fiddle, penny whistles, bodhran, and Scottish folk music...well your in for a treat with this particular score. Being a fan of McCreary's previous work, you hear him use a lot of these instruments in the "Battlestar Galactica" score. Come to find out, Bear McCreary became a fan of Scottish music while growing up in Bellingham, Washington where he and his friends would attend the Highland Games. He recounts his love for the music and his experiences while creating the score for the show in the included 20 page booklet (including front and back cover). This CD insert has pictures from the show and gives a wonderful account of his early life influences and the inspirations that he drew upon to create this wonderful music. Some other interesting facts contained in the book is the fact that McCreary composed over 16 different versions of "The Skye Boat Song" that were used for different purposes throughout the series! He also created his own folk music for the show and one is featured on this release, "The Woman of Balnain" performed by Gillebride MacMillan. Raya Yarbrough also performs on track 3, "Dance of the Druids". It is another fantastic piece that showcases this performer's singing talents.
It is quite obvious that Bear McCreary has a passion for this style of music. I loved his music for the other shows but this one really stand out to me. The melodies and themes captured here can really transport you back to the Scottish Highlands for sure. I love the way he weaves the character themes and "The Skye Boat" song through select pieces. His clever use of instrumentation spreads out the unique sounds throughout the score and it never becomes too heavy with one particular Scottish instrument. This is just one outstanding TV score and you don't have to be a fan of the books or show to appreciate this great music.
The CD is packaged well and it comes with that great insert that I mentioned before. It is released by Madison Gate Records and it sounds great. There are 13 tracks here and the entire score runs about 51 minutes. The last track, "The Veil of Time" is 10 minutes and 15 seconds. According to the liner notes, this track is from the eighth episode where things reach to a climatic conclusion. My only negative is that I wish there were more music! It's over way too fast. It's a shame they couldn't of released a double CD to capture more music from the entire season. But, I am grateful for what we have here because it appears they've given us some of the best from the entire run. It is simply a remarkable score and I highly recommend this one!