Sherlock: The Series One Soundtrack

(Look here for more booklet-y goodness. The artwork is amazing! The skull hiding just behind the disk, especially.)

Oh my Lord, how long we’ve waited.

These are bringing out the big guns, and it’s wonderful to hear all the pieces in their entirety after only hearing parts of their brilliance during the series. Bits and pieces here and there, we never quite got the whole picture, and now here it is, and it’s gorgeous.

The Opening Titles (01) have been my mobile’s ringtone for 18 months now, and hearing them is probably less of a surprise than the rest. From then on out, we reacquaint ourselves with the rhythm that accompanies and drives Sherlock’s adventures. The Game Is On (02) is Sherlock’s theme–or is it? Because just after delving into the dark and sorrowful beginning of John’s theme–simply calling it War (03) really rams the point home about who he is–we glimpse his future: the chase, the pursuit, the breathless score that runs along is echoed in a quiet, almost timid arrangement of strings in John’s little world after his return to England, his inability to adjust to civillian life. It puts John’s understatement right opposite Sherlock’s boisterous genius, and it infuses the amalgam of this partnership with so much warmth and energy.

Then, Pink (04), Security Cameras (05), Pursuit (06), and Which Bottle? (07) take us back through A Study in Pink, tying the episode together remarkably, marking all the moments during the episodes that showed us who those wonderful people are whose characters we can see unfold. The mystery of the crime, John’s sense of abandonment on his first case that he doesn’t yet know is his first. Mycroft’s first abduction of John, welcoming him back, cutting a solemn and threatening figure against the bravery of the soldier. The relentless pursuit of the cab, showing off Sherlock’s abilities to, one, memorize all the streets of London and, two, to rid John of his limp by giving him something to chase across the rooftops. Which Bottle? shows us the dark side of Sherlock’s ambition–he needs to stop being bored, and he’d do a lot of stupid things to prove he’s clever. ‘Cause he’s an idiot. The breathless violins at the end should, two weeks later, become the most dreaded cliffhanger scores of recent TV history–at least here, Sherlock is saved by a gunshot.

The Blind Banker has comparatively many themes to draw on: Targets (08), establishing the threat those greeted by the cipher are under. Library Books (09), Number Systems (10), Light-Fingered (11), and Crates of Books (13) taking us through the course of the Baker Street Boys’ investigations on smart melodies and upbeat strings and mandolines. Then, there’s an Elegy (12) for Soo Lin Yao, who died at the hands of her own brother, and John, who ran out to help Sherlock and had to return, only to find her killed. Shit then hits the fan in Sandbag (14), what with Sarah and John tied up and Sherlock being, in one word, late; before we’re…

On the Move (15) again, and Back to Work (16), straight into the madness that is The Great Game. Hardly pausing for breath, the music ushers us through the seemingly endless row of innocent people being pressganged into Semtex vests by the most dangerous criminal in the world: Jim Moriarty, whose face we don’t get to see until the very end. Not until after a Woman on the Slab (17) has been examined and her brother’s lover found guilty we are introduced to A Man Who Can (18). And then, the Final Act (19), bringing the cliffhanger from hell, taking us right back into the moment, skyrocketing towards the moment when we can hardly even bear it anymore, higher, higher, until–


The music for Series One is as thrilling and passionate as the stories it accompanies, it’s fun and heartbreaking and wonderful; so full of energy, but urging us to stop and just feel in exactly the right places.

And next series will be even better. (The Sherlock Series Two soundtrack will be released Feb 27.)

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