The soundtrack CD of The Sarah Connor Chronicles gets off to a striking start, with Garbage’s own Shirley Manson fronting the tune Sampson And Delilah (which judging by the lyrics isn’t a shock that it was originally penned by a Reverend). The song is fine if a little preachy in its verses, and it’s also from the second season of the show. It is a decent enough opening for this 24-track, 64-minute soundtrack.
Diverting though it may be the true colours of what we were expecting really begin with track two which is the opening title for the show. And again it also includes that familiar thundering of Brad Fiedel’s Terminator Theme.
Strangely enough the show may make the odd reference to that theme and other sounds from the Terminator films (so as to remind audiences that this is a Terminator franchise), but beyond that there isn’t much in the way of the show ripping off the sound of the movies. It has been brave enough to find a new composer (Bear McCreary of Battlestar Galactica fame) and let him create a new sound that sits comfortably by itself with a minimum of reliance on the back catalogue. The third track is the Sarah Connor Theme used for the pilot which is a beautifully rendered piece of music that only faintly recalls the love theme from the original film. Otherwise it is a piece of music that sits by itself and gives our heroine a feel and tone of her own.
There are, of course, action beats (where most of the T1 and T2 references are made) but for the larger part this is a very sombre and sweet soundtrack. It is nice to find one that isn’t overloaded with emo-rock tracks and very little in the way of composition pieces. But having said that this is also material for a TV series, so there is also a lot of repetition in its tone. No bad thing if you merely have it on in the background, but a bigger deal when looking for separation of value. But to then counter argue that point, there are 24 tracks in total, so it isn’t like there is no wealth of choice. Quantity for sure, with a higher value of quality than you might hope for.
I don’t know if the track order is linear with the show or selected to flow in an order purely for the CD release, but it works well. What McCreary does well is blend synthesized sounds together with orchestral strings. This continues Fiedel’s electronic approach, but also lets the humanity seep in as well. He works them really well.