What You Will Hear: Strings, bagpipes, flute, double stops on fiddle, marching percussion, and era/geography specific drums. There are also a few Scottish folk songs performed in scene by the cast.
Standout Tracks: Gold Star – Every track is worth your time!
Will You Be Humming Along? That opening title (The Skyboat Song) is pretty catchy and the theme heard in the score is like a soothing dream state (The Summoning).
The score this makes me want to dust off: Beowulf - Alan Silvestri
Will I come back to it? Yes. Volume 1 was a nice listen, but this edition has so much more heart. Mrs. FilmScoreFans is a big Outlander-er and I’ve followed along enough to know that Volume 2 primarily takes place in Scotland of the 1700’s. This total dedication to one setting seems to have focused this collection’s soundscape. On various fronts, the album fully immerses you in Outlander’s Scotland. The drums are an almost constant heartbeat throughout this experience. Never distracting, (even the marching snares) they are almost like thunder clouds off in the distance. Even on tracks without percussion, the drums make an impact. Tracks featuring just the strings are made even more beautiful by contrast (The Key to Lallybroch). And what fantastic string writing you’ll hear. Be it nostalgic and heartwarming (Tale of the Tusks) or prideful and adventurous (Fort William Rescue), there are numerous harmonic moments that will have your heart aching no matter the resolution. Add in some Scottish folk influence and/or full on bagpipe corps and you’ve got a complete experience. The quality of the performers and the mix on this album also cannot be overlooked. I’m not one to harp on poor recordings, but I’ll always speak up when one stands out in its excellence. The Scottish instruments and low strings cut through so clearly; it is almost like the musician is right there next to you. Job well done by everyone in front of and behind the microphones. In my reaction to Volume 1, I wrote:
I'm quite aware that predicting Bear McCreary will do something amazing isn't really that prophetic. But can someone at least give me a little credit? I called it! With the Outlander series, McCreary has produced one of his best releases to date, and I can’t wait to hear where Volume 3 takes us.