Friday, January 1, 2016

Soundtrack of the Month: January 2016

Remember when I complained that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. never got a soundtrack release? Remember when an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. soundtrack released five days later? Remember when I didn't realize this for the next month? I blame Amazon and Spotify for neglecting to tell me when they should've. I'd be upset, except for the fact that I get to listen to the soundtrack now regardless.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a television series that takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe about the story of Agent Phil Coulson, after his iconic death at the hands of the demigod Loki in The Avengers. Coulson, having "magically" recovered following the events of the film, puts together an unlikely task force to work various missions for the government organization S.H.I.E.L.D.

Wait, doesn't bringing the character back to life nullify the meaning and heaviness of his death in the first place? Well, if you watched the series for long enough you would know that is not necessarily the case. A lot of people quit watching in the first half season, for no logical reason I can think of, and so they missed out on some pretty powerful story developments.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is scored by Emmy-winning composer Bear McCreary, and performed by a full orchestra, which is a very rare occurrence for television soundtracks. The skill and dedication Bear brings to the series, along with the addition of the full orchestra, brings the quality of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s music up past numerous film scores in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—and believe me, those scores are some of the best soundtracks in the industry.

This single CD covers the first two seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and thus covers many different episodes and themes. As this is compilation of the finest pieces and moments drawn from all over 44 episodes, there is never a single dull moment, nor a single moment that isn't positively incredible.

Featured Tracks

Track 1: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Overture – An outstanding rendition of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s main theme, a.k.a. Coulson's theme. It appears most often and prominently in the score of Season 1, and a version acts as the end credits theme of every episode. This is easily one of the greatest themes among all of Marvel Studios' film and television soundtracks.

Track 6: Aftermath of the Uprising – This is the track that plays at the end of the majorly game-changing Captain America: The Winter Soldier crossover episode, "Turn, Turn, Turn". This is one of Bear's personal favorite tracks, and I understand why.

Track 9: Cello Concerto – One of the most elaborately-composed pieces of score I'm aware of in existence. Bear talks about it extensively here. (Contains major spoilers for the series, up to and including the classic episode it's featured in, "The Only Light in the Darkness".)

Purchase Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Original Soundtrack Album) on Amazon or iTunes.
Or listen to it for free on Spotify or YouTube.

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