Opening with two memorable tracks from the ’90s (Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch”), the soundtrack for the upcoming film Gamer, an explosive follow-up to the directing duo’s two Crank films, let’s the listener know immediately what kind of film to expect: twisted action with strong hints of sexuality. And that’s undoubtedly what a film about a futuristic game where gamers control real people in violent, on-line competitions would contain. But the two opening tracks are just the beginning of this satisfyingly thrilling album mostly filled with music by composers Geoff Zanelli (Hitman, Disturbia, and, oddly enough, Ghost Town) and Robert Williamson (The Midnight Meat Train, Pathology, as well as some work on Crank).

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews (linked above) Geoff Zanelli has a long career ahead of him if he continues to put out compositional work like this and Robert Williamson is mastermind when it comes to electronic composition. The two musicians put their skills together in this impressive, fast-paced, hard-rocking soundtrack for a highly anticipated blockbuster film. In a score that successfully mixes electronic dance with film composition, these two composers have found a strong compatibility. No two tracks are alike, though they all tend to feature a healthy amount of electronic gamemanship. In the (literally) explosive “Target Practice,” Transformer-like sound effects are surrounded with bombshells and pounding drumbeats that repeatedly fade into bullet shots and computerized rhythms. Meanwhile, a more violent track like “Blood Ball” features speeding beats and a buzzing electronic element that drives the action of the film home. But the track “Simon’s House” (my favorite on the album) is an example of what makes this soundtrack such a surprisingly versatile and enjoyable collection of music: with elements of electronic and various rhythms competing throughout, it’s a light-hearted, futuristic piece of music that both sets a scene in a film and stands alone on an album as a party-worthy dance track. Other notable tracks include “Humanz” a track that fans of the Atari game systems may recognize a few familiar sounds in and “Kable Vs. Castle” – an expressive piece that walks a fine line between NES boss scene and wild west showdown.

Wrapping up the album is a Sammy Davis Jr. medley entitled “Medley: I’ve Got You Under My Skin / Big Bad John / Night And Day.” It’s an unusual finish to such a driven, violent score, but this only helps the song stand out on its own and highlight the simplicity of the drums and Davis’s vocals. Overall, this is an excellently composed and organized soundtrack worthy of any music collection.

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Background music at a large party
Stay Away if: You’re trying to relax

To purchase the soundtrack for Gamer, visit Amazon

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