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Bates Motel (Chris Bacon)

September 5, 2014

Synchrotones’ Microtones Review… all of the opinion, less of the words.

Cover_BatesMotelBATES MOTEL

Chris Bacon, 2014, Varese Sarabande
36 tracks, 64:46

What is it? “Bates Motel” is a television drama inspired by Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and offers a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates and the relationship with his mother, Norma. Viewers will have access to the dark, twisted back story and learn first-hand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all.

What does it sound like? Lush strings and twinkly piano arpeggios open the album and set the tone for what’s to come. It feels instantly familiar, with hints of Elfman and Lunn. “Bates Motel” is not a horror-show and the music reflects this. For the most part it’s moody and mysterious (still with strings and piano leading the way – I’m reminded of “A Simple Plan” and “Dolores Claiborne” a lot). However, on few occasions Bacon does crank up the tension and successfully ventures into horror-territory with tremolo strings, percussive and brass hits. At other times the composer offers lush melodies (for strings and guitar).

Is it any good? Whilst “Bates Motel” offers nothing groundbreaking, the music is expertly written by Chris Bacon. On album it makes for a pleasant listen as the composer offers a well-balanced combination of suspense, horror and something altogether more romantic.

Rating [3/5]

Review by Pete Simons, (c) Synchrotones

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