The Walking Dead
Musical Score By: Bear McCreary
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Regular readers at G-POP.net will already know that I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead television and comic book series. As a fan of the TV show, I get extremely excited the minute I hear the opening music announcing a new episode. Iíve always felt the music of the show added a great deal to the drama and wondered if they would ever produce an official soundtrack of the television series. Well, I no longer have to wonder. On October 20, 2017, The Walking Dead Soundtrack will be released digitally and on CD. The LP version will be available on October 27, 2017. I couldnít wait to take a listen.
The music of The Walking Dead is created by Emmy Award-winning composer Bear McCreary who exploded on the scene with his innovative score for Battlestar Galactica. Since then, he has been tapped for a number of composing projects for television, film and video games. Credits include Black Sails, Marvelís Agents of Shield, Outlander, 10 Cloverfield Lane, God of War, Unrest, Colossal and Happy Death Day.
According to Bear McCreary, ďWhen we started discussing the first season we agreed that drama, action, and horror would be felt more intimately if the score were used only in pivotal scenes, and that it should be written with tonal clarity. This approach allowed me to create big emotional impacts with sparse musical gestures.Ē I agree with McCreary one hundred percent on this approach. What better way to begin this trend than in the very first episode as we see a policeman walking through a deserted car wreck, approaching a little girl carrying a stuffed animal also walking through the wrecked cars. After calling to her a number of times, the girl turns around revealing that she isnít a little girl lost and traumatized or in shock, but actually one of the walking dead. Cue the tremolo string arpeggios of Main Title Theme.
The Walking Dead Soundtrack features twenty-three tracks of music culled from all seven years of the series. For Bear McCreary, ďnarrowing down the highlights from seven years of work was a tremendous challenge.Ē Somehow, he managed to make everyone happy, choosing his personal favorites, along those most frequently requested by fans. Thus, we begin things with that gripping theme, followed by Rick's Despair as he realizes he has lost his wife and son and the world has fallen apart while he has been in a coma. Glenn's Wheels is a rocking track complete with electric guitar riffs that is featured in a pivotal moment in which Glenn hotwires a sports car and rigs the horn to lure away the walkers, saving his fellow salvagers.
Things get softer and more reflective when we head out to the farm. Acoustic guitars enter the picture and we get a glimpse of Carlís theme. Sophia is a track featuring a small orchestra blended with acoustic guitars and drums. Used at the end of the first half of the second season when the fate of Carolís missing daughter is revealed, the score is very dramatic, adding to the shock and sorrow felt by the characters and viewers alike. As the dead invade the farm, the electric guitars join the strings and percussion. Amidst the crashing drums and guitar riffs, there are glimpses of the original theme played in a somber way. Listeners will no doubt be taken back to the heavy losses suffered by our heroes that day. The soft pianos and gentle, somber strings of C-Section speak of the powerful loss of Rickís wife and the birth of his daughter. The Governor brings along a darker, more ominous sound to the score brought about by synths. There are moments when softer elements creep in to the soundtrack after The Governorís theme, but then Negan steps in with its dark synths and heavy reverb.
The Walking Dead Soundtrack is the dream of every fan of the television series. Somehow, Bear McCreary knows just what sound or musical instrument or manipulation will make a dramatic scene that much more touching, that much more heart-wrenching. McCreary is in a class all his own and The Walking Dead Soundtrack is a must have for any fan of the show or of McCrearyís work. I canít wait to re-watch the various episodes touched upon by the music collected in this album. Iím so glad that the powers that be decided it was high time to get this album put together for the fans of The Walking Dead.