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Orphan Black by Trevor Yuile (Review)

posted May 29, 2015, 4:45 PM by Kaya Savas

Orphan Black is the successful show about a woman who discovers that she has been cloned and many different versions of her are living their own different lives. The sci-fi show has completed 3 seasons and #4 is coming next year. Usually shows that don’t feature a lot of score for separate season releases will compile one album for several seasons. As is the case here and with something like Orange Is The New Black. Trevor Yuile’s electronic and tonal score has some standout moments, but it’s mostly there to punctuate and not really support. It has a unique soundscape, but unfortunately emphasizes too much on style to have any organic substance.

It’s probably important to note that the show has two separate albums being released at the same time, one is songs and one is score. And they are meant to be companion albums as the show relies heavily on songs as it does score. However focusing merely on the score of the show, it does a great job of crafting a soundscape. With all the electronic textures and subtle melodies woven through them, there is a definite flavor to the score. However I was never really absorbed by that flavor. The subtle melodies really never take hold, and the score never forms any dramatic builds besides obviously the last 7-min track. Some of the tracks feel a little jumbled and chaotic, and you don’t feel a narrative flow. Then there is the case of “Cosima's Treatment”, which is a clear rip of Mychael Danna & Devotchka’s “The Winner Is” from Little Miss Sunshine. In the end you’ll find some pockets of interesting things, but as a whole it’s missing an emotional connection. The melodies are not aesthetically appealing either, leaving it hard to grasp onto much.

Orphan Black has a cool soundscape, but there’s not much going on within it. For a show about clones and human identity there is not much of an emotional connection in the music. From the melodic structure down to the pacing and flow, there seems to be a gap. The score is definitely a case of style over substance, but there are a few pockets of interesting moments here that give Orphan Black a unique feel. Otherwise there’s not much here that will leave a lasting impression.