Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the television score Outlander The Series Vol. 2 by Bear McCreary.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 87.3
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 23.73
Album Excellence: 43.95
Outlander is a 2014/2015 television series developed by Ronald D. Moore. After serving as a British Army nurse in World War II, Claire Randall is enjoying a second honeymoon in Scotland with husband Frank, an MI6 officer looking forward to a new career as an Oxford historian. Suddenly, Claire is transported to 1743 and into a mysterious world where her freedom and life are threatened. To survive, she marries Jamie Fraser, a strapping Scots warrior with a complicated past and a disarming sense of humor. A passionate relationship ensues, and Claire is caught between two vastly different men in two inharmonious lives. “Outlander” is adapted from the best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon. The score is composed by Bear McCreary.
Outlander is a great television series with some very bold choices. One of the choices I disagreed with was dividing season 1 into two halves. The first part ended in September 2014 and part two started in April 2015. It was so long I had forgotten both series and music. I think that’s also why there were two volumes, one for the first part and this one for the second part. I wish that they would have waited until the season was over and released a double CD instead. As it is, I can’t remember specific music from volume 1, but I know that I loved it. Celtic music has always been close to my heart and McCreary nailed it. It is with much excitement I get to hear Volume 2, finally! The score opens with ‘Fort William Rescue’ and now I remember the way volume 1 sounded. An exciting mix of celtic music, action and mystery. Although it’s not firing at all cylinders yet, it’s great to hear familiar themes as well, specially the theme around 6 minutes in. I heard it quite a bit in the second half of season one. That theme is a major one. I call it the heroic Claire theme because I noticed it was used forcefully in some heroic sequences. ‘The Key To Lallybroch’ is a rather romantic “homey” cue, low key and beautiful. It is of course the Fraser’s home after all.
This release is all about that theme though. I hear it in almost every cue. It also builds nicely upon volume 1, fleshing it out if you will. I really enjoy when it breaks out into this mini-themes like the second part of ‘To Wentworth’. That’s something I wish they did more of. But back to the theme. I remember a fair few times the theme was really big sounding and powerful. Sadly I can’t hear it on the score which is a shame, because that was what I wanted to hear. That being said, ‘Setting Sail’, the final cue is a small nostalgia trip featuring the amazing main theme and also the new theme. It’s an excellent addition to volume 1, but you won’t anything groundbreaking here, but then again I guess you are looking for more of the same. If that’s the case, you’re in luck.
4. The Key To Lallybroch
9. To Wentworth
10. Tale Of The Tusks
15. Setting Sail