THE CAPE TV series was not well received; in fact after nine episodes the show was cancelled as audiences and critics gave it the big thumbs down. The one saving grace that it did posses was the musical score by composer Bear McCreary. The composer has worked on a number of popular TV series including BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, A TOWN CALLED EUREKA. THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and THE WALKING DEAD, plus he has also scored feature films, shorts and video games. The composer has a somewhat quirky approach to scoring film and TV but it has to be said it is an approach that works and he gets results – as in creating music which enhances and supports each and every project. He also manages to produce music that remains very listenable and highly original away from the film it is intended to enhance. THE CAPE is no exception and in my ever so humble opinion this is probably the best of McCreary thus far in his career. The music from THE CAPE did, on my initial listen, put me in mind very much of Danny Elfman and also the late Shirley Walker. Then, after reading the liner notes it became apparent that I was not wrong to think this way as the composer marks Shirley Walker as a music super hero and dedicates the album to her memory. Every single cue on this magnificent double compact disc is an interesting and exhilarating listen, whether it be a full-on action cue or a more emotive and poignant interlude – there is not one track that I would skip over. I listened to the album twice (both discs) and each time I was excited and bowled over by its stature, content and presence. It has everything to accompany a superhero; high octane action themes, fanfares, swelling strings, painfully melodic piano, soothing and lush passages plus up-tempo and hauntingly rhythmic cues. Alongside a large orchestra, the composer includes a number of solo players who add their own individual musical fingerprint to the proceedings, which is why this is such an appealing work. Not only do we have the symphonic grandness but also the intimate and whimsical – supplied by ethnic woods, hurdy gurdy, accordion, dulcimer and added percussion.
It is diverse but also mainstream if that is at all possible. It conforms to the superhero genre but the composer also thinks outside of this area to create a soundtrack that will become a popular one amongst collectors of fine movie music. The central theme for THE CAPE is, for me, very evocative of John Williams’ work on SUPERMAN but McCreary makes it sound a little darker and thus more in keeping with the shadowy nature of THE CAPE series. I suppose one could say it is the extravagant sound of Williams fused with the dark and unconventional sound of Elfman – an odd combination but one which in the hands of such a gifted composer as McCreary works well. The album is presented extremely well with great artwork. There are also informative notes from the series creator Tom Wheeler and executive producer John Wirth with extensive notes from the composer and lots of photos of the recording sessions. La La Land have produced and released a wonderful score; long may they reign. I recommend this score whole heartedly.