Caprica: The Soundtrack CD review

Bear McCreary comes up trumps again, this time with the first soundtrack for the Battlestar Galactica spin-off, Caprica...

Caprica

I must admit to being a big fan of Bear McCreary’s music, so much so that when I got married we had parts of his Battlestar Galactica score played at the ceremony. For me, McCreary’s music was as important to Galactica as the special effects were and I was pleased when I found out he would be scoring the spin-off, Caprica. I am also pleased to tell you that his latest album for the TV movie/pilot for Caprica is simply superb and an essential purchase for fans of his Battlestar Galactica scoresor any of his previous work.

The CD contains eighteen tracks, and as with his previous scores, Caprica is a very theme-driven album, with each character or family having their own theme. For those of you who haven’t seen the pilot, this is essentially the story of two families coming to terms with loss, the Adamas and the Graystones (I won’t say anymore for fear of spoiling it.) The soundtrack reflects this through its two main themes, The Graystone Family and A Tauron Sacrifice.

The opening track, The Graystone Family, is a fairly sombre piece, with layered strings and a haunting flute that is echoed in the other tracks on the album – this is the signature of the Caprica score and ties it together. A Tauron Sacrifice is more heavily influenced by those same strings, giving it a much heavier, darker feel, like the characters of Joseph Adama and his family on screen.

These two themes, like the two families, are interwoven throughout both show and score. Terrorism On The Lev is a faster, more aggressive track, carried along by rapid percussion, only letting up when it returns to hint at the main theme. A Cybernetic Lifeform Node is the most Galactica-like track on the album, with those familiar taiko drums making a return, to a bombastic, frantic paced track. It sounds as if it could fit exactly into any of the show’s episodes – it’s pacey, dramatic and evokes thoughts of Cylons. Zoe’s Avatar sounds superb, with the main Graystonetheme reworked between woodwind and harp, lending it a very haunting, ethereal quality.

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One of the standout tracks for me on the album is The Adama Name. It skillfully references A Tauron Sacrifice, before merging with sections of A Good Lighter, or Admiral And Commander which was often used in Galactica during scenes between Adama and Apollo – neatly bridging both series and their respective scores. Irrecoverable Error has echoes of The Shape Of Things To Come, from Galactica‘s scores, carrying across the dramatic grace from that track and serves to further reinforces the links between Battlestar and Caprica.  

The soundtrack for Caprica is a success because it feels suitably referential to the Galactica soundtrackwithout re-using, or aping those same tracks. It’s familiar yet at the same time new, individual and different. Its tone is certainly a darker one then some of Galactica‘s pieces, it’s emotional, brooding, yet elegant. The score sums up the sadness and pain felt by characters perfectly and given the storyline of the pilot (which I won’t give away), this is in keeping and fits the show it accompanies like a glove. Bear McCreary has once again produced a fantastic album that is a credit to himself, and to science fiction television.

Great stuff.

5 stars

Rating:

5 out of 5