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Outlander: The Series - Vol. 1 by Bear McCreary (Review)

posted Feb 18, 2015, 3:56 PM by Kaya Savas

Another Bear McCreary score filled with Bear McCreary goodness. Outlander is the fantasy historical series based on the series of popular novels. It follows a married WWII war nurse who mysteriously time travels to Scotland in 1743 during a sweeping civil war. McCreary continues his string of successes with the Starz network as Outlander joins Da Vinci’s Demons and Black Sails on McCreary’s list of hit scores for the network. The score for Outlander is melodically entrancing and rich in narrative pull. It never goes over the top in terms of romance or melodrama, and instead feels like you indeed stepped into a portal to the Scottish highlands.

If you aren’t familiar with Outlander, don’t be expecting an action score. This is a romantic drama mixed with a little science fiction. I know Bear McCreary usually goes hand in hand with awesome action scores, but here we get to hear a more elegent and romantic side of McCreary. The main pull of the score is obviously the celtic roots of the music. The score is a lush weaving of bagpipes and fiddles with traditional melodies that immediately establish the setting. I found that McCreary gave the music a really organic sense of character. The melodies feel of the characters and help get the emotional state across. There is a side of wonderment and mystery that bookends the score, and very successfully encompasses this romantic time-traveling tale. The album is a great selection of pieces that are rich with emotions and beauty. While the melodies here are simply wonderful, I would have liked to have heard a stronger central motif carried throughout to help tie everything together. But since the music is full of beautiful melody, it’s rare that you will ever not be engaged in the romance unfolding.

Outlander is a wonderfully lush score from Bear McCreary that embraces the show’s setting deeply within the music. The Scottish sounds and melodies flow freely to craft an elegant and vibrant romance. Bear does a great job at painting the characters’ relationships through the music as the relationships evolve through the story. And even though I feel a much stronger central motif woven throughout would have helped, the melodic richness of the score will never leave you feeing unfulfilled. This is a fantastic score to get lost in that feels timeless and organic all the way through.