Disturbia (soundtrack) by Geoff Zanelli



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Disturbia by Geoff Zanelli


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Disturbia (Soundtrack) by Geoff Zanelli

Composed by Geoff Zanelli
Lakeshore Records (2007)

Rating: 4/10

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Listen to this soundclip of DisturbiaDisturbia (310 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of DisturbiaFishing (351 kb)

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“In the end, GEOFF ZANELLI's DISTURBIA is a disturbing listen—in more bad ways than good.”

Not Exactly Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
Review by Cap Stewart

Imagine you lived in a quaint-looking suburban community. The neighbor to your left was a voyeur and the neighbor to your right was a serial killer. Both people would be considered creepy, albeit in different ways. The nosey neighbor would be a nuisance, whereas the bloodthirsty neighbor would be, well, more of a mortal threat. The music to DISTURBIA, composed by GEOFF ZANELLI, is sort of like a combination of those two neighbors. At times it’s annoying (which is obviously a bad thing) and at times it oozes homicidal menace (which, in this case, is a good thing).

DISTURBIA tells the story of a teenage voyeur who is convinced that one of his neighbors is a murderer. The basics of the plot are taken from, or at least inspired by, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film, REAR WINDOW, which starred James Stewart and Grace Kelly. Although considered by many to be Hitchcock’s finest effort, REAR WINDOW is one of my least favorite from the esteemed auteur. When I discovered Hollywood was offering a modern retelling of the story, I wasn’t thrilled in the least. You couldn’t—and still can’t—pay me to see DISTURBIA. (I would say, “You couldn’t pay me to listen to the film score either,” but that’s not quite true. I mean, here I am writing a review with a free CD spinning in my computer.)

Composer GEOFF ZANELLI joined Hans Zimmer’s studio, Media Ventures (now known as Remote Control Productions) in 1994. Not too many of Zimmer protégés have managed to maneuver themselves out from under the famous—some might even say “infamous”—composer’s shadow. Case in point, Zanelli’s list of solo projects is relatively small; he is more often credited as writing “additional music.” He certainly isn’t without skill or critical acclaim (his score for the television miniseries INTO THE WEST received an Emmy), but DISTURBIA isn’t exactly a stellar example of creativity. The “Remote Control Sound” is definitely there: at times, the synth programming is reminiscent of SPEED, and a short portion of track 2 sounds like it could have been lifted from THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK.

The film’s primary motif, appropriately laced with sinisterness, opens the album and sets the listener in the proper mood. Unfortunately, he doesn’t stay there long. Beginning with “Fishing” (track 2), Zanelli introduces some material designed to portray the more lighthearted side of suburban life. It’s not bad music, per se, but it doesn’t meld well with the overall tone of the storyline. Adding to this problem is the utilization of a pop/rock sound during other moments on the album. It’s almost as if Zanelli is trying to combine the tone of THE ’BURBS with FRIDAY THE 13th—but it just doesn’t work. If he had focused more attention on developing the sinister side of the score, it might have provided for a more effective listening experience.

Aside from the few functional motifs that crop up here and there, not much else is worth mentioning. The listener will encounter several sudden bursts of orchestral noise, hinting at the horror/slasher elements of the movie. The final track, “The Basement Graveyard,” offers a poor climax to the album, ending with a whimper and leaving the listener wondering, “Is that it?” In the end, GEOFF ZANELLI's DISTURBIA is a disturbing listen—in more bad ways than good.

Rating: 4/10

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Disturbia 7:02  ***
2 Fishing 3:52  **
3 Poofoot 1:15  **
4 Voyeurism 2:35  *
5 Every Killer Lives Next Door to Someone 3:35  ***
6 I Like to Play 1:46  *
7 Stealth Ronnie 5:10  **
8 Walking Ashley Home 2:01  *
9 The Club Girl 2:47  **
10 Stalking a Killer 7:15  ***
11 The Basement Graveyard 8:50  *
  Total Running Time (approx) 46 minutes  




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