The Expanse Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the television score The Expanse by Clinton Shorter.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 92.6
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 25.3
Album Excellence: 55.1%
The Expanse is a 2015 American television series created by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and starring Thomas Jane, Steven Strait & Cas Anvar. Hundreds of years in the future, things are different than what we are used to after humans have colonized the solar system and Mars has become an independent military power. Rising tensions between Earth and Mars have put them on the brink of war. Against this backdrop, a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain come together to investigate the case of a missing young woman. The investigation leads them on a race across the solar system that could expose the greatest conspiracy in human history. The score is composed by Clinton Shorter.
This is a science fiction series I have been wanted to binge for a time, but haven’t gotten around to it. Clinton Shorter is usually very comfortable in a science fiction environment so the score should be good as well. The score opens with the title cue ‘The Expanse’. It’s a short one so it might be the opening credits of the series and wow it has an immediate impact, specially when the vocals come in and the subtle stick percussion is being used in the background. Goose bumps. Yeah this is what I’m talking about. Brilliant. The second cue is more classic sci-fi mood creation, synth pads galore and special effects. It’s what you would expect from an exploration sequence in a 4x space strategy game. Very nice.
There are many ways to approach science fiction musically. Shorter is not the man for elaborate orchestral John Williams-esque science fiction, but what he’s really good at is creating excitement by using power and subtle themes like with ‘Signal’ where ostinato is used a lot, repetition, very subtle but the power and the theme makes it worthwhile. I love this kind of science fiction score. There has been many examples of this style and it has worked great as well. It can be compared to compared to Gravity, although that one was a bit more elaborate. This is more space action and mellow sci-fi than anything and I think it’s really exciting and fun to listen to. Scores like this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The motifs are very subtle, and if you don’t enjoy the Zimmer type of bombastic scores, you probably won’t enjoy this one. I am having a blast though to listen and explore this score and I am immersing myself into a science fiction score I’ve never visited before.
1. The Expanse *
11. An Impossible Burden
14. A Lifetime Of Losing
17. Lies and Love of Power