By Bob Cannon
January 23, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Q Is it us, or are reality-show soundtracks beginning to all sound alike?

A The reality is that reality-show music is mainly composed by a select few. Grammy winner Russ Landau is responsible for Average Joe’s swelling strings, Fear Factor’s spooky vocals, and Survivor’s conch call; Mark T. Williams and Jeff Lippencott scored both The Apprentice and Boarding House: North Shore. ”With the right music cue,” says The Simple Life musical director Dave Stone (whose resume includes The Real World), ”I can make a dinner with you look like the most romantic evening we’ve ever hador like we don’t even like each other.” Again and again and again.