Emerald City Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the television score Emerald City by Trevor Morris.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 85.2
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 29.1
Album Excellence: 42.2%
Emerald City is a 2017 American fantasy television series created by Matthew Arnold & Josh Friedman and starring Adria Arjona, Oliver Jackson-Cohen & Ana Ularu. It is based on the Oz book series written by L. Frank Baum. When a tornado transports Dorothy Gale from Lucas, Kan., to the faraway land of Oz, her arrival sets in motion a prophecy about a disastrous event known as The Beast Forever and strikes fear into the land’s almighty ruler, the Wizard. On her quest to meet the Wizard in Emerald City, Dorothy encounters witches, an amnesiac soldier, a sheltered little boy and many more mysterious beings who will ultimately shape the future of Oz and Dorothy’s place in it. The score is composed by Trevor Morris.
NBC decided to try to bring back the world of Oz in a modern television series. That didn’t work out so well, but I have to say I was really intrigued by the trailers. It looked dark and rather fantastic. It got cancelled after only one season though. The music to it was composed by Trevor Morris, a true veteran in television scoring. What can he bring to this well trodden universe? I’m hoping for some proper magical scoring, with lots of epic fantasy. Too much? Maybe. Perhaps the opening cue ‘The Storm’ is a major clue what it’s all about. It’s interesting, but not quite what I was expecting. It’s very dark, lots of percussion, very rhythmic. There’s almost no fantasy magic though, and if this is what the score sounds like, we might be in trouble. Still, it’s an interesting take on it if anything.
I have to say I’m disappointed with this score overall though and it’s for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons is of course expectations. I wasn’t expected the score to sound so “compressed”, so subdued. I was expecting a much more open score than this, one that doesn’t shy away from the fantastical magical elements of the world of Oz. There’s a certain expectations whenever Oz is involved, and trying to do something different is brave and that’s what Morris has done here. Different isn’t bad in itself, far from it, but when that difference is too far away from my expectations, I get defensive. It feels like the fantasy horror of Oz and the magic of that place is mostly gone, but maybe in this version of the tale, it is. Perhaps the story was about to go magical in season 2, but we’ll never know for sure. This music sometimes doesn’t work for me on it’s own, but perhaps it does make more sense in context. To it’s defense, there’s something intriguing about it, and there are quite a few cues that I wouldn’t mind listening to again. What do you think of the score?
3. River Falls Road
5. To Emerald City
8. The Yellow Brick Road
14. Witches Hung In Square
15. Dorothy Enters The Tornado
18. Snowing Inside
24. Ojo and Nahara / The Beast Forever Rises
25. Witches Join Tip
26. The Beast Forever Rises From The Abject
28. The Cowardly Lion
29. Locust Attack
31. Dorothy’s Path
34. I’ve Come To Take You Home