Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – music by Bear McCreary

Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesSince making a splash in the film music scene with his distinctive music for the new Battlestar Galactica, Bear McCreary has earned not only acclaim, but a very busy schedule on the scoring stage. In addition to direct-to-DVD horror movies like the Rest Stop series, McCreary has also taken over the musical duties on Sci-Fi’s Eureka, and in each case, he’s done so in such a way that the results don’t scream “This is the guy who does the music for Battlestar Galactica” – and really, that’s a good thing. That’s the sort of diverse talent that keeps composers employed.

For those wishing that there was more music in the same vein as Galactica’s percussive moodiness, though, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fits the bill. The series itself kicked off with the same kind of world-weary hope-in-the-face-of-a-fatalistic-future tone that Galactica has carried throughout its run, but let’s face it, it’s almost certain that Galactica’s wall-of-percussion action scenes are what landed McCreary this job. The Sarah Connor Chronicles utilizes plenty of metallic percussion, though often sampled and processed heavily – appropriate for a show that deals with robotic assassins from the future.

Galactica fans will also find this show’s use of a small string ensemble familiar, appearing at several points in the soundtrack to deliver low-key, almost mournful moments in stark contrast to the pounding percussion. Both elements come together in the show’s end title theme, with an effect that’s equal parts apocalyptic and Celtic. Unlike the main title theme, which is heavy on percussion and light on melody, the end titles are based on “Sarah Connor’s Theme” (heard in full on track 3).

On the opposite end of the spectrum from that theme, there’s the busy, almost Art Of Noise-like “Motorcycle Robot Chase”, loaded with scraping metal percussion, stuttering electronic sting notes, and just plain noise. Needless to say, this track goes nuts in a way that wouldn’t fit on Galactica – it’s uniquely Sarah Connor Chronicles, and easily the busiest track on the entire album by miles.

Two songs are included, “Samson And Delilah” (performed by Shirley Manson of Garbage, who joined the cast as part of a rethink of the show’s format in season two), and the raucous “Ain’t We Famous”, performed by Brendan McCreary and his band (also responsible for some of Galactica’s more mainstream musical moments, such as “All Along The Watchtower”). “Samson And Delilah” didn’t really strike me as radically different from anything I’ve heard from Ms. Manson before, but “Ain’t We Famous” is a fun, rockin’ number that stands up to repeat listening better. An homage to Carl Stalling – about the last thing I expected to hear here – is included as well (“Atomic Al’s Merry Melody”).

4 out of 4I’m going to fess up that I’m not a huge fan of the show itself, but its music is certainly worthy of attention. Fans of Battlestar Galactica’s music will enjoy this one, whether they’ve followed the series or not, because it’s on very familiar ground (and yet slightly different) musically. This’ll tide you over until the next Galactica soundtrack quite nicely.

Order this CD

  1. Samson And Delilah (4:58)
  2. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Main Titles (0:45)
  3. Sarah Connor’s Theme (3:17)
  4. Cromartie In The Hospital (1:10)
  5. Andy Goode’s Turk (3:11)
  6. Central America (1:34)
  7. John And Riley (2:27)
  8. Derek Reese (2:53)
  9. Ain’t We Famous (3:36)
  10. Motorcycle Robot Chase (2:50)
  11. The Hand Of God (3:10)
  12. Prisoners Of War (6:26)
  13. Miles Dyson’s Grave (2:43)
  14. Atomic Al’s Merry Melody (1:23)
  15. The Reese Boys (1:41)
  16. Removing Cameron’s Chip (3:15)
  17. Ellison Spared (2:23)
  18. I Love You (2:30)
  19. Catherine Weaver (2:05)
  20. Derek’s Mission (1:47)
  21. There’s A Storm Coming (3:02)
  22. Highway Battle (3:58)
  23. Perfect Creatures (2:15)
  24. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles End Titles (0:35)

Released by: La-La Land Records
Release date: 2008
Total running time: 63:54