What You Will Hear: Bear McCreary’s usual inventiveness, but all fit nicely inside a Marvel mold. Everything from electronics to sweet strings and bombastic brass. Tons of percussion.
Standout Tracks: Gold Star! Every minute worth your time!
Will You Be Humming Along? The main heroic motif is short and sweet, and you’ll be repeating it over and over. There are a few smaller themes in varying styles throughout that are a lot of fun.
The score this makes me want to dust off: Kung Fu Panda - Hans Zimmer & John Powell
Will I come back to it? Yes. I’m a big fan of the show, but the music never really caught my attention in context. As an album, however, this might be one of my favorite scores of the year. It has everything. Let me be honest: I rarely expect much from television scores. Whether it is budget or time restrictions, TV scores just feel rushed or “under-cooked.” Not the case here. The orchestra is top notch. No instrument is left unused the mix is excellent. But let’s get to Bear McCreary’s writing. Compositionally, there is so much to enjoy. The main theme is expertly (and judiciously) used throughout. It is sometimes unashamedly big, and other times almost distant. But it never apologizes for being so straightforward – and I love that. (And the running sixteenth note motif that usually accompanies the main theme is so much fun!) McCreary is screaming “COMIC BOOK!” and all I hear is “SO MUCH MORE THAN A COMIC BOOK!” Beyond the main theme: The woodwind flourishes are perfect. The brass sections hit with massive impacts. The percussion is never obnoxious, and offers up unending variety (especially in the middle tracks). There are action cues and softer familial tracks that each feature their own unique themes or instrumentation. Yes! But the strings are the highlight here. Whether they are sweet, brooding, or flying through exhilarating action passages, McCreary’s writing is completely engrossing. Each note, chord, and idea has true heart. And don’t forget the cello concerto; an unexpected and delightfully somber selection. Whether you watch the show or not, you’ll hear the interesting character developments and true personal connections that grow (and break) from episode to episode. McCreary and his team have picked the cream of the SHIELD crop and put together an amazing collection of tracks not to be missed.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was provided courtesy of Krakower Poling PR and Hollywood Records. Thank you!