CD: Caprica – TV series (2009)

November 13, 2013 | By

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Rating: Very Good

Label:  La-La Land Records / Released: July 29, 2013

Tracks & Album Length:

CD1: 21 tracks / (74:05)
CD2: 22 tracks / (74:35)

CD1: 21 tracks / (74:05)CD2: 22 tracks / (74:35)


Special Notes: 24-page colour booklet with liner notes by Randall D. Larson / Limited to 3000 copies.


Composer: Bear McCreary




Caprica’s one of those series which had a promising start and slowly went a astray in this Battlestar Galactica prequel, but its sonic design maintains total continuity thanks to Bear McCreary’s scores, built on new themes yet filled with the same hard percussion arrangements that made BSG so memorable.

“New Cap City” is a prime example of McCreary reworking his Caprica theme for a rock percussion ensemble, yet tempered by Theremin emulations for the harmonic sections. An ongoing bass pulse and rapping motif recall a cue from the pilot episode in which a more minimalist version underscored the episode’s opening terrorist train attack.

La-La Land’s 2-disc set features short and lengthy highlights from the series, balancing a smattering of action, suspense, and tense cues, often built around thick percussion layers, an electric bass, and usually a few thunderous midsections; some gentle thematic material for chamber orchestra, piano, or woodwinds (especially flute, which gives some variations rather Barryesque qualities); and mild vocal material.

Brendan McCreary penned the moody “All of This Has Happened,” a rock ballad with orchestrations and harmonic sections likely shaped by brother Bear (which ensures continuity with the score), and a blues tune (“I am a Man,” which actually runs over 4 mins. (In fact, all tracks erroneously stamped on the sleeve as running 52 seconds actually average between 2-4 mins.)

There’s also the epic-lengthy “Capricoperatica” which runs almost 9 minutes and unfolds like a chamber oratorio with gorgeous vocals; and Jonathan Snipes’ remix “Burlesque,” which spins McCreary’s main theme into a tongue-in-cheek, fuzzed-up dance hybrid. The set also includes a demo version of the jazzy brass track “Cerberus Dance,” and a short sketch of the series’ main theme.

Perhaps the main stylistic element among McCreary’s scores for the BSG series and spinoffs is the use of pounding percussion, and a consistent contrast between hard and soft sounds, delicate harmonies and primal thunder-claps for heavy backbeats. Solo and chamber violins also form a smooth bridge between the score’s action and emotional elements, often softening transitions, and forming a kind of neutral sonic zone where hard, sharp, or emotionally wrenching material can materialize, and liquidly dissipate with ease.

Fans will be pleased the percussion cues run anywhere from 3-6 minutes, allowing for meaty buildups and hefty finales, and as with prior BSG CDs, the music is beautifully mastered.



© 2013 Mark R. Hasan


External References:

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