Composed by: Bear McCreary
Distributed by: La-La Land Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Eureka is a science fiction television series featuring a town located somewhere in the Pacific Northwest inhabited entirely by scientific geniuses working on technological advancements for the United States government. U.S. Marshall Jack Carter (Colin Fergusen) stumbles upon the top secret town while transporting his daughter Zoe (Jordan Hinson) back to her mother’s home in Los Angeles, California. A faulty experiment cripples the current sheriff of Eureka and Carter is quickly sought after to take his place. Although the new sheriff doesn’t come close to competing with the IQs of any of Eureka’s inhabitants, he has an uncanny ability to see what others do not, often saving the town from its own disastrous experiments.
Eureka is one of those quirky science fiction series where just about anything is possible from episode to episode. The quirkiness of the town’s inhabitants and the experiments they are working on lend to a quirky soundtrack. That’s where Bear McCreary comes in. Known for his work on the Battlestar Galactica television series soundtrack, Bear was approached to “give us something as amazing as BG, but that sounded nothing like it” – Charlie Craig, Executive Producer. This meant none of the intense percussion themes that McCreary is famous for. No, this television show called for quite a different approach to music. Luckily Bear McCreary is always up for a challenge.
To say that the Eureka Soundtrack is different than most of Bear McCreary’s work is a severe understatement. To quote Bear himself, “In my quest for Eureka’s signature sound, I became a mad-scientist myself…forging genetically-modified freaks of sound.” To create the sound for Eureka, McCreary employed a variety of unusual sounds – clavinet, accordion, Rhodes and Wurlitzer keyboards, detuned dobro guitars and didgeridoo (an Aborigine wind instrument). He mixed sounds and genres to create something unique and perfectly suited to the town and its constituents.
The Eureka Soundtrack is a crazy mix of sound. Beginning and ending with Eureka on My Mind by Mark Mothersbaugh and John Enroth, the soundtrack is a surprising mixture of genres that is hard to describe. Sheriff Carter’s Theme starts things off with a mix of zydeco sound, a blend of unusual instruments and strange beats. This is music that is entertaining, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. We move on to Prehistoric Love Spares where guitars strum in a rock style, followed by Allison’s Theme which begins in a classic comedic mystery style but eventually becomes soft and serious. Spanish themes take over in The Mask of Fargo, where castanets, guitars and trumpets take center stage. And things keep on getting more and more mysterious from there. Brendon McCreary performs some vocals on this soundtrack, singing Let’s Get Hitched, a soulful song written and produced by Bear McCreary.
For the most part, just going by the description of the series (I have never actually seen it), I would say that Bear McCreary has created the perfect soundtrack for Eureka. The music is quirky and experimental perfectly complimenting the quirkiness of the townspeople and their experimental nature. The soundtrack is a complete turnaround from what one would be used to from Bear McCreary, but this simply shows that McCreary can be versatile in his composition. Fans of the show would probably love to get their hands on this soundtrack. Fans of Bear McCreary should check out the Eureka Soundtrack if only to listen to a different McCreary sound.