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Soundtrack Review

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Black Sails
A Starz Original Series Soundtrack


Composer: Bear McCreary
Label: Sparks & Shadows
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 January 2014

From rural Georgia to a Battlestar, from the Italian Renaissance to a post-apocalyptic St. Louis, composer Bear McCreary’s projects have taken us on many voyages. This latest journey takes us to 1715. The Golden Age of Piracy. New Providence Island is a lawless territory, controlled by history’s most notorious pirate captains. The most feared is Captain Flint. As the British Navy returns to redeem their land and exterminate Flint and his crew, another side of him emerges. Captain Flint aligns himself with Eleanor Guthrie, daughter of the local kingpin, to hunt the ultimate prize and ensure their survival...

Bear McCreary delivers a fine main theme at the heart of Black Sails... It's another segment of music that will rattle around your head for some time to come. However, the rest of the album all comes down to whether or not you like the olde worlde vibe that McCreary has conjured up. Personally, I loved it as it was something a little different, but I can well understand why some would find a lot of the tracks a little on the atmospheric background music side.

In the press release, McCreary himself reveals that his goal was to create music that sounds improvised by an exhausted crew aboard a ship navigating choppy waters, and that he has managed to pull off incredibly well. But that also means that, other than the main theme which pops up now and again, there's very little in the way of recognisable themes.

The album contains 21 tracks (1 hr, 19 min). 'Funeral at Sea', for me, was this album's high point. This is the one track where McCreary allows a little melancholy to creep in - and it sounds perfect.

If you're a fan of the show then you'll know what to expect here. However, if you're a McCreary fan who is picking this up without having seen the show, you might be best advised to catch a couple of episodes first.


Darren Rea

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