Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Music composed by Bear McCreary
Label: La-La Land Records
Catalog: LLLCD 1081

Year: 2008

1. Samson And Delilah - ‘Samson and Delilah’ (Shirley Manson)
2. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” Opening Title
3. Sarah Connor’s Theme - ‘Pilot’
4. Cromartie In The Hospital - ‘The Turk’
5. Andy Goode’s Turk - ‘Queen’s Gambit’
6. Central America - ‘Queen’s Gambit’
7. John And Riley - ‘Automatic for the People’
8. Derek Reese - ‘Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘The Demon Hand’
9. Ain’t We Famous - ‘Automatic for the People’ (BrEndAn’s Band)
10. Motorcycle Robot Chase - ‘Gnothi Seuton’ (Captain Ahab)
11. The Hand Of God - ‘The Demon Hand’
12. Prisoners Of War - ‘Dungeons & Dragons’
13. Miles Dyson’s Grave - ‘The Turk’
14. Atomic Al’s Merry Melody - ‘Automatic for the People’
15. The Reese Boys - ‘What He Beheld’
16. Removing Cameron’s Chip - ‘Vick’s Chip’
17. Ellison Spared - ‘What He Beheld’
18. I Love You - ‘Samson & Delilah’
19. Catherine Weaver - ‘Samson & Delilah’
20. Derek’s Mission - ‘Dungeons & Dragons’
21. There’s A Storm Coming - ‘Dungeons & Dragons’
22. Highway Battle - ‘Queen’s Gambit’
23. Perfect Creatures - ‘The Demon Hand’
24. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” End Credits

Total Time: 63:07

Reviewed by
Tom Hoover

La-La Land Records presents Bear McCreary's score to the television series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." With a running time at over an hour, this soundtrack provides a superb amount of representation of music from the series' first season. As is the case with some of McCreary's other scores, this soundtrack also offers song material (2 tracks) that was produced by the composer and/or his brother, with both cues fitting in nicely alongside the instrumentals. The sound quality of the entire soundtrack is quite sharp and the liner notes feature contributions from the production team on the series, including the producer, actor, and of course, from Bear himself. La-La Land continues to do a stellar job with each of their releases (you can tell they care about their product).

I really enjoy Bear McCreary's style. He has introduced an original voice in the world of film and television music and what I enjoy most about his work is that the electronic tools he calls upon don't take away from the human drama that his music conveys. In "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," McCreary employs a small team of performers along with other resources such as drum kits, MIDI programming and more. When brought together, the result produces a rather innovative yet appealing sound. When dealing with McCreary, the production value of the music always seems to be off the charts.

The score for "Sarah Connor Chronicles" starts off strong, beginning with a catchy, somewhat edgy song entitled, "Samson and Delilah." I found this opening cue to be quite engaging (really dug the vocals) and felt that it setup the transition to the "Opening Titles" quite well. Though this "Opening Title" track won't bang the listener over the head with a metallic array of Terminator sounds from the film, the subtlety of it is what can be enjoyed. I always like it when the composer doesn't take the easy way out, which is what McCreary could have done here.

To continue with the impressive opening set of this album, the next track is devoted to the title character. Sarah Connor's theme from the "Pilot" episode is a well arranged, dramatic introduction to the character as she is seen in this series. The understated flow brings out a sentimental melody that stuck with me even after the soundtrack concluded. What I felt was most interesting about it was that there are echoes from the film resonating within the cue. especially with the closing chords. To add even further accolades about this motif, McCreary uses it throughout the different episodes in the series, thus connecting the show musically with the listener.

With the action material from the series, McCreary does a good job in bringing out the metallic drums for use in these instances. Though not as raw sounding as the drum style from the films, it comes across a bit more refined and polished in this format (except for perhaps the wild "Motorcycle Robot Chase"). And to be honest, the high points from this score aren't the action cues, it's the melody and drama that come forward as the strong points, a trademark that does McCreary proud in his work.

Aside from a few the low impact minutes of music on the album, which can be chalked up to writing for TV, there is an interesting vibe attached to McCreary's "Terminator" music. I like the direction he has developed for the franchise on the small screen and think it would be a nice, forward thinking choice if he could land the assignment for the film's fourth installment.

It may take you an extra listen or two to fully engage yourself in the nuances of "Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles," but it's time well spent. Although the soundtrack would have benefited from less cues, which would have resulted in a higher mark, this is an interesting, dramatic listening experience that falls in the category of a safe purchase.