12 Monkeys is of course based on the 1995 Terry Gilliam film of the same name, about a man from the future traveling back in time to help stop a plague from wiping out most of the world’s population. The series is composed by Trevor Rabin and his protege Paul Linford, and this score is really a 2-man show. The two of them perform all the instruments and program all the synths. The score overall is a real pleaser, a wonderful palette of intrigue that is anchored by one damn catchy main theme.
What's great about the score is that you really can’t slap a genre label on it. It works very well to be its own thing. Even though it feels like traditional Rabin at times, it also doesn’t feel like anything he’s done before. Linford really helps flesh things out and adds layers of texture and a style to the whole adventure. I loved how the main theme is used constantly in different variations throughout the body of the score. You forget that you’re listening to a TV series score sometimes, it has such a fantastic flow. The score is at its best and doing the most lifting when the melodies take charge. Some of the quieter moments can be a bit of a wash, just a stitching of electronic drones. But when a great melodic build emerges it’s almost as if you’ve been transplanted back to the 90’s to get a taste of what Rabin got to do way more often back then.
12 Monkeys is a great listen and a very fleshed out score for a Syfy Channel original series. The main theme is what makes the score work, and it’s a wonderful anchor. Rabin & Linford make good use of the theme as they build it into the DNA of other tracks. The score has a crisp edge to it and it feels very much born from the show. This is one that’s worth your time, especially if you’re a Rabin fan.
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