Score Reviews‎ > ‎

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D by Bear McCreary (Review)

posted Sep 15, 2015, 8:08 PM by Kaya Savas

King of television scoring Bear McCreary is always someone worth tuning into, mainly because he always manages to find the heart of a show while still making it his own. Marvel’s attempt at a procedural with tie-ins to the grander Marvel Cinematic Universe has had mixed reactions from fans. It bursted out of the gate, but has slowly become this back-burner guilty pleasure for the Marvel die-hards. Like the films, the show lacks any real emotional or character depth. That doesn’t mean that Bear didn’t have some fun with it.

I’ve been a Bear fan for many years now, and it’s always fun to see how he dissects a series musically. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D clearly wasn’t his biggest challenge, and the music here works in broad strokes versus more of the intricate details we’re used to hearing. Those long meaty tracks that McCreary is known for are alive and well, and the album presentation of the music from the series so far is a great sampling. The score has tons of energy and even a bit of attitude while still retaining that elegant orchestral flourish. The generic Marvel sound overtakes the music at some points, but every now and then we get to hear McCreary go “full McCreary”. The track “0-8-4” is pure Bear goodness that calls back to some of his scores like Dark Void. In some areas you could say the music sounds a bit John Williams-esque as the score utilizes those deep pulsing strings. Overall it’s a fun ride that does leave a bit to be desired in terms of emotional resonance and character intricacy.

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D is not the most emotionally engaging or thematically resonating score from Bear McCreary, but it still has enough energy and action to make it a fun diversion. I feel like it could have benefitted from a more unique sound, but thankfully we get some real pure Bear McCreary stylings weaved in here and there that remind us that an auteur is handling the music. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D is another example of Bear’s fantastic abilities to craft a show’s musical universe, even if the score and show as a whole never goes deeper than surface value.