Best Television Score of 2014
The scores for television were somewhat disappointing this year save for the two mentioned here. That being said, however, a lot of pressure is put on composers for television. Not only do they have hours and hours of material to compose but they have a very limited time in which to do so (Less time than what most feature length film composers are given). Much respect given to the composers who have overtaken that endevour and succeeded in creating a decent soundtrack that makes for an entertaining listening experience.

2. Black Sails by Bear McCreary
Black Sails Main Title by Bear McCreary on Grooveshark
While somewhat mundane to listen all the way through, kudos have to be given to this extremely talented and creative composer! Black Sails is a pirate themed television show but instead of tasking the traditional route of swashbuckling, action-centered, music, McCreary wanted to create music that sounded "gritty and raw like sea salt". So, with the music he incorporates several very unique instruments; an out of tune Hurdy Gurdy, a dilapidated and broken piano, a small men's ensemble, and various percussion including the Bodhran and animal bones. Sounds unique, doesn't it? Check out the main theme which utilizes all of the aforementioned instruments.

1. Sherlock Season 3 by Dave Arnold and Michael Price
The East Wind by David Arnold & Michael Price - on Grooveshark
The album runs a bit too long and some of the music a bit repetitive, but this makes the best TV score of 2014 regardless. The music ranges from dubstep electronic to beautiful orchestral cues, creating quite a quirky score. But since the show is just that, it fits perfectly and I wouldn't want Sherlock to sound any other way.

Best Video Game Score of 2014
This was a good year for video game scores. 2014 provided some really stellar albums but I managed to narrow it down to the best two. Video games have become basically interactive movies and provide the composer with lots of material to cover. But that's good for us soundtrack fans, because that means more score to enjoy!

2. Dragon Age: Inqusition by Trevor Morris
Main Theme [Extended] by Trevor Morris on Grooveshark
What's this? Trevor Morris composing for video games now? Bring it on.
This score is massive. I mean, the amount of cues, the scope of the music, it all just reeks of epic. Full orchestral themes with pounding percussion, bombastic brass, and a full choir. There's not much in this album not to like. I'm glad to see Morris jump out of his comfort zone and can't wait to see him compose another video game score!

1. Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom's Cry

Olivier Deriviere is fantastic at composing. Really. He just is. From his scores Alone in the Dark, Remember Me, to this one, he provides entertaining and original video game scores. This one is no exception. This game is a DLC from the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag franchise, but thank goodness Deriviere was allowed to create his own completely different theme to fit this mini-game. He integrates several traditional Haitian medleys into this action based score which doesn't become at all repetitive but truly the unique highlight of the year.

Honorable Mention

The Banner Saga by Austin Wintory
Of Our Bones, the Hills by Austin Wintory on Grooveshark
I couldn't help but mention this gem of a score. You may recognize the composer, Austin Wintory from my soundtrack awards two years ago. He truly delivers. This sequel to the best video game score of 2012, The Journey, takes us through another adventurous but different soundscape. This game focus' on Vikings and so Wintory brings us a historically accurate soundtrack utilizing several midieval instruments, a small manly sounding choir, and solo violin. The ensemble is small but Wintory uses every last bit of it and it becomes a cold and bitter, but hopeful and driving score.

Any personal favorites? What albums did you just hear about from reading this? Comment and let me know and be sure to stay tuned for the best animated films of the year next!


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