Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Outlander by Geoff Zanelli (Review)

Now, before you laugh let me get this off the bat. While Outlander may be one of the most laughably bad plots I've ever heard of I can say that Geoff Zanelli's score stands above the clouds and becomes an incredibly amazing standalone experience. So much so that I am actually a little bit curious as to how it works in the film.

The CD is released in a limited pressing of 1500 units by La La Land Records and is a worthy purchase indeed. I think what I like most about Outlander is the varying thematic material presented. Zanelli provides us with that full orchestral/synth sound for the Vikings that is heard in the very first track. I always hate to pinpoint what Zimmer score an RCP composer's score sounds like, but it's a great reference point.

King Arthur immediately jumped into my head because of the full sound and harsh percussion. The futuristic sounds have some synth elements and structure that actually reminded me of Black Hawk Down especially the second half of "Gunnar's Raid". Now, the fact that I'm referencing all these Zimmer scores doesn't mean that Outlander is just a Zimmer rip. It really is a fun and thematic score with that Zanelli feel. The great part is when these two sounds clash and form a synthesis of the two worlds. We lose that Old World feel and we lose that Sci-fi feel and gain something new, which is always refreshing. The greatest part for me is hearing familiar arrangements and structures that I've heard in previous Zanelli scores, and that tells me he is a composer with a unique voice which is very rare today.

Zanelli's music has really grown lately and even though he may be scoring these laughable films like Outlander and Hitman I feel like he's getting a better feel for what he can accomplish in different genres. The fact that he's doing films like Ghost Town and then jumping into something like Outlander is great to see. He is stretching himself and not limiting himself to a certain area. Outlander is a fun score and is worth the purchase even if you have zero interest in the movie and its silly plot.

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