Being Human: Original Television Soundtrack (CD)

Being Human Original Television Soundtrack

Music composed by Richard Wells

Performed by Richard Wells, Andy Reynolds, Tony Hinnigan, Robert Foster, Diogo Vasconcellos, Caroline Dale, Jeff Moore, Chris Tombling, Nick Bucknall, Belinda Sykes, and Feelix Wareing

Distributed by Sliva Screen

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke aimed at horror fans. “A vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost get a flat together…” What grew out of such a bizarre premise has become one of the BBC’s biggest runaway hits. The true success of a series depends on many factors, like the actor’s performances and the script writing. But one aspect that is often overlooked is the musical score. Done properly, it enhances the scenes without overrunning them, almost to the point of hypnotically guiding the audience’s emotions without them even being aware of being under its spell. In the case of Being Human, composer Richard Wells did it very right.

Wells captures the strange and brooding feeling of the whole season from the opening track. Beautifully simple, the theme to the show feels right in place with the rest of the series. It also sets up nicely the remaining twenty-three tracks. Granted, some of those tracks are very short (the shortest being the thirty-eight second “Molly”), but their brevity packs in a great deal of emotional content. Case in point: Track three, “Annie’s Theme,” manages to portray sweetness and hope with a melancholy edge behind it, which fits the character nicely. Similarly, track five, “The Box Tunnel Massacre,” is not the sort of track you want to unexpectedly pick up when you start your car. Trust me. The same holds true for “It’s Coming,” track ten.

While the majority of tracks on this soundtrack qualify as “songs,” there are a few that seem more of the “soundscape” variety. “Beautiful Chaos” is a four-minute exercise in creating atmosphere. There’s no real melody, no chorus, and the music is punctuated with what sounds like echoing screams, but it does accomplish its goal by creating an eerie, claustrophobic mood, followed by a heart-slamming rhythm.

And through the twenty-four tracks, Wells manages to find cohesion in his score. The tracks don’t all sound the same, but it’s easy to see that they all came from the same suite of music. Together, the tracks tell a strange, sad, exciting story that will move the listener in all the right places. The sense of dread and uncertainty Wells creates is tempered by hopeful passages that lead the listener up, only to drag them back down again.

If one had to pick favorite tracks, the industrial-sounding “Full Moon” would have to be at the top of the list, as well as the five-minute soundscape “Annie’s Door” (again, wouldn’t listen to it while driving…). “Spread a Little Joy” does exactly what its name implies, while “Ancestors” is simply beautiful. On the whole, there is not a single “weak” track on the album, and further shows the BBC’s dedication to creating quirky, genre-specific programs that fans love.

    Track Listing
  1. Being Human
  2. Ancestors
  3. Annie’s Theme
  4. A Wonderful Thing
  5. Box Tunnel Massacre
  6. Gilbert’s Door
  7. Resurrection
  8. Spread a Little Joy
  9. Best night Ever
  10. It’s Coming
  11. Leaving
  12. Molly
  13. Beautiful Chaos
  14. Blood Addicts
  15. Someone Else
  16. Catacombs
  17. Lucky
  18. A Second Chance
  19. Vampire Annihilation
  20. Who’s Laughing Now?
  21. Holding On
  22. Annie’s Door
  23. Nina and George
  24. Full Moon

4 1/2 out of 5

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Scott A. Johnson

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