May 6, 2016

CD Review: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE: Music from the Motion Picture

Music Composed & Conducted by Bear McCreary. Score Produced by Bear McCreary & Steve Kaplan. Album Produced by Joe Augustine & Bear McCreary. (2016, 64 min).

If you watch a lot of TV, you might have noticed Bear McCreary's name in the credits from time to time, particularly if your viewing habits lean more toward sci-fi and horror. He's the man responsible for the music in such shows as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Outlander, Battlestar Galactica and, of course, The Walking Dead (its haunting title theme is arguably his most recognizable piece of work).

McCreary's also been branching out into film scores, the most recent being 10 Cloverfield Lane, the 'it's-not-a-sequel' sequel to 2008's Cloverfield. Not yet having seen it, I can't discuss how effectively the score is integrated into the film, but on its own merits, this mostly-orchestral soundtrack album is suitably ominous, urgent and creepy.

Variations of the simple-yet-effective theme established in the opening track, "Michelle," runs throughout much of the score, and sharp-eared listeners will easily recognize similarities between this and McCreary's work on The Walking Dead, though this music also sounds like he drew a bit of inspiration from more subtle cinematic pieces by the likes of James Horner and James Newton Howard (with a bit of Jerry Goldsmith's quirkiness tossed in). Most of the early tracks are slow-burning pieces of dramatic tension punctuated by the occasional orchestral burst or well-placed blasts of percussion. The final track, simply titled "10 Cloverfield Lane," is a wonderful overture which summarizes the entire listening experience.

Running over 60 minutes, McCreary's recurring theme occasionally becomes repetitive, despite how much faster and louder it is presented in the later tracks. Still, it's an ambitious and impressive piece of music, suggesting his big screen future is bright indeed.


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