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Soundtrack Review

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The Deceived
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Hannah Peel
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 03 August 2020

Silva Screen Records releases for digital download the soundtrack for the 4-part Channel 5 psychological thriller The Deceived. Created and written by Lisa McGee and Tobias Beer, the drama stars Emily Reid and Emmett J. Scanlan and follows an English student who falls in love with her lecturer. A tragic death draws her into a tangled web of lust, manipulation and betrayal. Hannah Peel is a producer, composer and artist from Northern Ireland. She primarily utilises electronic synthesiser music, but includes sound design and classical scores linking nature and science. She has previously worked on Game of Thrones, and The Last Watch – as well as for music artists John Foxx and The Maths, and The Magnetic North. She is Emmy Award Nominated and an RTS Winner...

This is a difficult one to quantify. It’s a competent and varied score, but it’s only diverse within the parameters of its genre and pace. Strings are dominant, but a hint of electronica gradually increases in balance the further we progress through the music. There are 24 tracks and, although they’re far from being only seconds in length, I’m certain that several of these could have been edited together for the sake of continuity – especially as so many of them are similar in terms of tone.

The idea seems to be to portray a sense of atmospheric mood, plaintive and sad melodies, and melancholia. A third of the way through a darkness intercedes, with low fluttering, discordant piano, rumbling electronica, a menacing throbbing/whispering, and a general sense of off-kilter madness – and even one or two horror/thriller screeches. Although these sounds are incorporated it fails to ratchet-up the suspense; in other words, these emotions fail to drag you along for the ride, instead falling rather flat. I’m sure it fits the TV drama very well, but doesn’t make enough of an impact for a stand-alone soundtrack.

There is an over-abundance of strings, and yet the synthesiser doesn’t ever quite intercede enough to make an impression. I don’t wish to criticise this too much, because it’s a solid composition. There is a church feel, a marching effect, an almost John Carpenter-like beat with a Morse Code tapping, a fiddle and a music box – so a lot of thought has obviously gone into this. The problem, I believe, is with the balance. The most cohesive piece is 'Listen to Your Mother', which incorporates jaunty keys with electronica, fluttering and rumbling coming in around the edges, which then turns to classical strings and piano.


Ty Power

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