1/12/2010. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
Human Target Season 1 Expanded 3 Disc Set by Bear McCreary. pub: La-La Land Records LLLCD 1150. 3 CDs 63 tracks. Price: $24.98 (US).
check out website: http://www.lalalandrecords.com/HumanTarget.html
These days it seems like if you have a television show in the making, there’s only one place to call for your soundtrack. Having made his bones scoring ‘Battlestar Galactica’, Bear McCreary is appearing as the composer for a large number of series, from the dark brooding tones of ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ to the almost unbearably happy ‘Eureka’.
Latest on the list is spy thriller, ‘The Human Target’. Now into its second season in the US, the show once again tells us the story of Christopher Chance, a private security contractor with a difference. When hired to protect a client, Chance integrates himself so fully into their lives that he becomes the target for assassination, too, allowing him to catch the would-be killer. The story was originally a comicbook and the show has been receiving very good reviews, showing on the Syfy channel here in the UK.
The soundtrack, all three CDs of it, has been quite hard to review. As a well-made, interestingly scored set of tracks it’s difficult to criticise, but due to its function in providing the backdrop to hours of action sequences, it all rather blends into itself, making picking tracks out difficult.
Much of the music is upbeat and heroic, in the American sense. Plenty of martial drum rolls and flourishing flute and brass, it’s easy to see an army marching band playing a lot of this bombastic score. The heavy use of the main theme refrain throughout helps anchor the pieces together, although I felt the main title was less memorable than some of McCreary’s other work.
The use of choirboys in ‘Monastery In The Mountains’ is an interesting change of style from a composer never afraid to move away from his comfort zone and the entire collection is more dependent on traditional orchestral work than past soundtracks.
Overall, I feel that the straight action hero nature of the TV series limits the enjoyment and ambition of this collection. There’s no foot stepped in the wrong direction and many of the tracks alone are thrilling and enjoyable. When taken as a whole, however, the tracks all feel so similar that ‘The Human Target’ soundtrack is far less interesting and rewarding compared to the immense depth and complexity of the ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and ‘Caprica’ soundtracks, which frequently mesh many influences from all kinds of music to create a compelling score worth listening to over and over again.
Due to the limitations of the types of music required for ‘The Human Target’, that sense of a composer really pushing his boundaries just isn’t present here. The show itself will undoubtedly have benefited from such tight, well-made and consistent background music and I can see how they would certainly add to the thrill of many of the action sequences. As a standalone collection, three CDs of essentially the same song gets a little wearing.
Tomas L. Martin
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