Monday, September 23, 2013

Europa Report (Soundtrack) by Bear McCreary - Review

Europa Report (Soundtrack) by Bear McCreary - Review

The Wonder of Space Realized
Review by Thomas Midena

A scientific expedition travels further into space than humanity has ever gone before and uncovers an incredible mystery about our universe? Sounds like the recipe for an excellent science fiction soundtrack! 

The EUROPA REPORT film uses a realistic “found footage” format to present a fictional story of the first crewed mission to one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa. You only need to listen to the first minute of this score to have a good idea of the style of the whole album, and that’s all the time it took for me to be hooked.

The same rapid, pulsing beat which opens in “Lift Off” (1) can be heard through a large portion of the score, providing a consistent and wonderfully exciting tonal base. Similar to MCCREARY’s other recent science fiction score, “Defiance”, swirls of increasingly emotive strings wash over the low beat. There’s nothing unique here - or in any of this soundtrack - but MCCREARY certainly has a way of playing with melodies that is very easy to listen to. There’s nothing too musically complex going on here, so the vast majority of listeners will enjoy themselves to some extent.

However, unlike “Defiance” - which is deliberately hyped up to eleven with screaming electronic sounds - EUROPA REPORT is notably subdued. MCCREARY shows remarkable restraint, keeping the music at a temperate level even when he needs to communicate shock and excitement. Sure, the bombasity of “Defiance” may be more unique and memorable, but EUROPA REPORT is arguably a more beautiful, tonally-consistent album.

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