Review: Composer Bear McCreary scores with Caprica

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Poor Bear McCreary. Talented composer, and pretty well known by now for his Battlestar Galactica work, but still—the guy can't win.

" ... if I use taiko drums people go 'Oh, he's doing Battlestar,' and if I don't use taiko drums people go 'Oh, he's doing something different than 'Battlestar.' It's kind of the elephant in the room ... "

Probably best known for his ele—er, work on the recently concluded Battlestar Galactica (or maybe for the Fox show, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Bear McCreary has hit another high point in his career with the score for Caprica, a prequel series.

For the most part he has eschewed the "world music" colorings of the previous series. But have no fear, because he's got to meld the end of this new series, in which Earth is decimated by a holocaust, with the beginning of BSG. As he says, "The music is more baroque, almost. It's not actually baroque in style, but it feels more constructed and more western, more symphonic."

So here we are with a CD from La-La Land Records for a drama series set 58 years before the events of BSG. No Cylons—at first. No Battlestars—yet. But some subtle and moving music, with a sweet little theme that works its way into most of the pieces here.

There's not much that's in your face, which is good. But McCreary is better than that anyway, which his fans know. For example, he cleverly reprises some of the BSG themes and motifs, such as segments of the Graystone family theme ("The Graystone Family," 1) which echoes the Opera House theme from BSG. "Cybernetic Life Form Node," 5, uses the same taiko drums used so often in BSG's main theme, so those searching for the elephant won't have to look far.

"In Caprica I'm much more direct than in Battlestar. The emotions are, at least in the beginning, more direct, a little more obvious, simpler."

And no less entertaining.