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Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Deluxe Edition


Composer: Bear McCreary
Label: Sparks & Shadows
Release Date: 29 November 2013

Bear McCreary's wonderful scores for Defiance (Original Video Game Soundtrack) and Defiance (Original Television Soundtrack) are being reissued as a two-disc CD collection. Oddly enough, while the television score appears to be identical, there seem to be two tracks missing from the video game soundtrack. As this is a reissue, I've simply reworked my original reviews for the individual releases.

Defiance (Original Television Soundtrack) contains 22 tracks (1 hr, 16 min, 13 sec) of original score, original songs and cover songs as heard in the first season of Defiance.

I have to admit that when I first listened to this album I hadn't seen any episodes of Defiance, and wasn't overly struck on the score. A lot of Bear McCreary's music seemed to be reworked piece that appear on the flawless Defiance game soundtrack. Equally, the vocal tracks didn't do a lot for me - some of them containing alien vocals that took me back to Return of the Jedi. However, as luck would have it, the PR company that is helping to promote the show's release on Blu-ray and DVD sent us the first seven episodes to watch before we were due to interview one of the show's stars, Stephanie Leonidas - who plays Irisa.

Almost instantly everything slotted into place and almost all of the vocal tracks made more sense when given the proper context. I suppose it's a no-brainer; you're not going to pick up this album if you haven't seen the TV series, so you'll pretty much know what to expect. However, if you want to complement this, then also pick up the game score - which is far superior.

Track listing:

01 - 'Defiance Main Title'
02 - 'The Ritual of Perpetual Motion' - (feat. Raya Yarbrough
03 - 'Flirting with Disaster' - Young Beautiful in a Hurry
04 - 'Before the Votans'
05 - 'Welcome to Defiance'
06 - 'Terraform My Heart' - feat. Brendan McCreary
07 - 'Baby Blue' - Young Beautiful in a Hurry
08 - 'Castithan Bath'
09 - 'Ooh Child' - Raya Yarbrough
10 - 'Lost to the River' - feat. Brendan McCreary
11 - 'Outside Over There' - Young Beautiful in a Hurry
12 - 'Worth Dying For'
13 - 'Concerto for Insects'
14 - 'Time After Time' - feat. Raya Yarbrough
15 - 'Besásh' - feat. Raya Yarbrough and Brendan McCreary
16 - 'Kalagyi Anaila Kaziri'
17 - 'Courage Under Fire' - Young Beautiful in a Hurry
18 - 'Battle of the Volge'
19 - 'Nolan and Irisa Reunite'
20 - 'Castithan Wedding Song' - feat. Raya Yarbrough
21 - 'Lawkeeper'
22 - 'Gone Again' - feat. Brendan McCreary

Developed as both a SyFy television series and an immersive videogame from Trion Worlds, Defiance marks the first attempt to debut a franchise of this scale in two unique formats. The game and the series take place in a future Earth, terraformed by invading alien races known as the Votan. Themes of exploration, racial tension and frontier life have been transplanted from the western genre and fit perfectly in this strange new vision of our world...

Bear McCreary's original score for Defiance is a pretty flawless entry into the video game soundtrack genre. The album lasts for 1 hr, 21 min and contains 22 tracks (which is odd as the original release had a running time of 1 hr, 31 min and 19 sec and contained 24 tracks) which weave together so many emotionally charged themes that I spent several days listening to this over and over and was constantly finding new segments that caught my attention.

Personal favourite tracks include 'Theme From Defiance' (which is the one theme that pops up occasionally throughout the album); 'Ninety-Niners' (a toe-tapping electronic track that is hard not to love); 'Tranquility' (a short flute and strings track that reminded my of Dennis McCarthy's work on Star Trek: The Next Generation); 'Angel Island' (which starts off with a hypnotic electronic theme which slowly builds); 'Attack At Marin'; 'Votan Romance' (which holds possibly this album's most beautiful theme); and 'Theme From Defiance (Extended Version)'.

Sadly, I'm not able to pinpoint the two tracks which have been left off this release as the MP3 files we received for review didn't include the track titles and the running times are a little different for each track than the original release. And hopefully, the version we were sent for review is not the actual one that will be available for purchase as there are some issues with sound quality - especially on the final track which seems to skip and crackle as though there's a dodgy connection on the speakers.

Whether you're a fan of the game and TV show, or have never even heard of it, this is a score that's well worth getting hold of. Once again McCreary works his magic.


Darren Rea