Soundtrack Review: Battlestar Galactica
By Douglas Strassler Aug 13, 2005, 10:42 GMT
A little bit of background knowledge of the show’s history is probably necessary to enjoy the Battlestar soundtrack fully. Originally a miniseries in the late 1970s, it has now morphed into the Sci-Fi Original Series, in which a group of humans – the only survivors of a massive wipeout by a group of robots called Cylons – search the universe for planet Earth, where the only other survivors exist. While the original followed in a trend of intergalactic space odysseys, this revival is more tailored to a post-9/11 world–er, universe.
One surprising lesson to learn upon listening is just how eclectic the soundtrack is. There are, for instance, hints of Middle Eastern music in such tracks as “The Thousandth Landing” and “Kobol’s Last Gleaming,” one of the more religious entries in the series. “Destiny” and “Flesh and Bone” contain more Indian-sounding styles. One can detect Celtic influences in “Battle on the Asteroid,” “A Good Lighter,” and especially “Wander My Friends,” which even includes Gaelic lyrics. There is even an Italian opera-style number, “Battlestar Operatica.” One advantage to owning this soundtrack is that it provides lyrics to the song, a special indulgence to Battlestar and Italian opera fans alike.
Another pervasive sound of McCreary’s is percussion. This should come as no surprise on such an action- and suspense-heavy series, but nonetheless, early tracks like “Helo Case,” “The Olympic Carrier,” and also “Starbuck Takes on All Eight” utilize pulse-pounding drums, in addition to a chime effect. This lends a very military feel to the soundtrack.
But McCreary also weaves in a rather somber tone to the soundtrack; the show does, after all, occur in a post-apocalyptic world of loss and genocide. So one of the greatest tracks on the album is “Two Funerals,” which is both solemn and haunting. That is one great measure for the show; it has something for everyone. Action sequences and special effects for the more adventure-minded, but also a real sense of gravitas for more mature audiences. This soundtrack is a must-own for the growing fan base of this genre-breaking series.