March 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Domestic Disturbance  
  VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD-6313   [29:14]

Domestic Disturbance

Functional, professional, really rather interchangeable thriller scores continue to pour out of Hollywood. To recent discs I have reviewed for The Glass House and Don't Say A Word among many others, add Mark Mancina's music for the routine collection of clichés that is Domestic Disturbance. A B movie a good decade past its film-by-date which just goes to prove John Travolta only ever occasionally picks a good script by the law of averages.

The title track is nicely edgy, with somewhat more subtle percussion than we have been used to of late. "Bitter Suite" reveals a romantic heart yearning for a better movie to accompany, while making the inevitable nods towards Bernard Herrmann. Indeed, Herrmann continues to cast such a long shadow over the psychological thriller genre it seems no score can escape his influence. Still, there is attractive woodwind writing and Mancina summons an air of fatalistic enigma with consummate skill. At over six minutes it is by far the longest track on a short album, and in musical terms the most distinctive. Thereafter the titles tell the story, with "Run Away", "Murder", "Rick Threatens Danny" etc. offering no more than generic suspense/action writing which would sit equally well in any number of similar films. Despite the presence of mandolin and bazouki adding a little unusual colour it does the job, nothing more. But then the same might be said of the movie.

Gary S Dalkin


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