Music composed by Nathan Barr
Label: Varèse Sarabande
Catalog: 302 066 984 2

Year: 2009

1. Take Me Home (Vocal by Lisbeth Scott)
2. Hairclip
3. Bill's Lament
4. Gran's Story
5. Bill's Entrance
6. First Taste
7. Tara in the Pool
8. Tripping
9. Tara and Mother
10. Grieve to Grave to Groove
11. The Tribunal
12. Amy's Goodbye
13. Bill and Sookie Together
14. Priapism
15. More Than You Can Imagine
16. The Cabin
17. The Funeral
18. Sancto Erico (Vocals by Lisbeth Scott & Nathan Barr)
19. Bill and Sookie's Reunion
20. Jason and Amy
21. Love Theme (Piano by Lisbeth Scott)

Total Time: 44:52

Reviewed by
Jorge Saldanha

If you've been in a coma for the past two years, let me give you some info about True Blood, another acclaimed series from HBO. In the show, thanks to the invention of synthetic blood, humans and former outcast vampires have become fellow citizens. In Bon Temps, Louisiana, lives Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a young, telepathic waitresses. As an outcast herself, she falls in love with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and this is just the beginning of a plot full of mystery, romance, horror, sex, fantasy, drugs, violence and humour.

I'm sure that when someone talks about the music of the show, the first thing that comes to a viewer's mind is the catchy theme song "Bad Things" performed by Jace Everett. However, the cement that binds all the elements of True Blood is the score created by Nathan Barr. Working in his own private home studio in Topanga Canyon, Barr wrote, arranged and performed the majority of his music. The score for True Blood's first season centers around a little ensemble of acoustic instruments - cello, guitar, and piano -, and there's an unique vibe in Barr's themes that perfectly fits with the show's background and development.

Some unexpected complex arrangements for the small ensemble of instruments, sometimes unpretentious and yet warm played, results in a set of beautifully exquisite melodies. Sometimes romantic, sometimes gothic, there's lightness and delicacy enough in this music to help us to connect with the series' memorable characters. The entire score album is so good that would be unfair to point its highlights, since even the less recognizable tracks are very good.

Nevertheless fans of the show will easily recognize the main themes and tracks of the album. "Hairclip," "First Taste," "Bill and Sookie Together" and "Love Theme" feature Bill & Sookie's love theme, while "Tripping" and "Amy's Goodbye" contain the V-juice drug motif, as well as Jason and Amy's theme also heard in "Jason and Amy". Among other recognizable cues that run throughout the album there is the first track "Take Me Home", the vocal version of "The Funeral" that plays in the emotional scene where Sookie eats her deceased grandmother's pie.


Barr and Scott performs "Take Me Home"

Speaking about "Take Me Home," one of the great qualities of Barr's score is the collaboration of Lisbeth Scott, that I've had the pleasure to meet in 2007 at Música Em Cena, the Film Music Festival that took place in Rio de Janeiro. Scott is a lovely woman and also a great pianist, with an amazing singing voice. In True Blood's score she sings the ballad "Take Me Home," plays the piano in the last track "Love Theme," and makes a duet with Barr in "Sancto Erico." Arguably Scott gives to this work a sensitive and soft touch that makes it sound even better.

I recommend that you listen carefully the 45 minutes of this nice Varèse Sarabande CD. Kudos to Barr, that continued to deliver a fine output for the show's second season. So it is safe to assume that we will have another score album for True Blood in a near future.