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State: Music From the Motion Picture
Review By: S.
1. Don't Panic- Coldplay
2. Caring Is Creepy- The Shins
3. In The Waiting Line- Zero 7
4. New Slang- The Shins
5. I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over
You- Colin Hay
6. Blue Eyes- Cary Brothers
7. Fair- Remy Zero
8. One Of These Things First- Nick Drake
9. Lebanese Blonde- Thievery Corporation
10. The Only Living Boy In New York- Simon
11. Such Great Heights- Iron and Wine
12. Let Go- Frou Frou
13. Winding Road- Bonnie Somerville
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It isn’t very often that I find myself
enjoying a soundtrack that much, especially when I have to scour through
an album just to find a few decent tracks when there are more than a dozen
songs on the whole darn thing. However, with a few exceptions being
made, the Garden State soundtrack demonstrates that even music scores that
weren’t specifically written for the film can contingently create intensively
emotive moments and delivers very pivotal elements to the film itself.
Zach Braff is an actor, first-time director, and screenwriter who possesses
a rare talent, but it’s not just his film making abilities that strikes
a good chord, it’s his keen sense in compiling heartfelt songs to match
the tone of the movie, complimenting every scene and illustrating
his thoughts with sound.
With a dazzling multitude of styles, ranging
from classic pop, rock, to folk artists and ethereal ambience, there is
no going wrong. The only minor thing that bothered me was my prejudice
towards Coldplay. Ever since my dreadful purchase of their second album
I could no longer tolerate them. Simply because the thought of Coldplay
as the bastard son of Travis that mimicked Radiohead's dissonance
and added the low-key approach of piano playing had forever chiseled itself
in my head. Although, that’s besides the point because the song itself
successfully gets the point across to its listeners in which the Chris
Martin’s wispy voice produces a bittersweet euphonious sense of romanticism
backed up with steadfast rhythms and occasionally upbeat tempos.
After Coldplay’s song softly ended, indie
rockers The Shins were up to bat. The Shins delivered some spectacular
tracks with “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang”. Both tracks greatly differed
from one another, simply because on the second track James Mercer’s, (singer
of The Shins) searing voice sounded induced with a massive quantity of
helium. On another note, I had a hard time making out the words he sung
towards to end of the song. The entire time I thought he was singing “au
de soir” which translates to “at evening” in French turned out to be “All
these squawking birds”. So much for my trained ear at work. Then, there
was “New Slang”, a more gentle and campfire-friendly approach of their
Shifting gears, Zero 7 and Thievery Corporation
both low-keyed ambientronics adds to the collective, with very vibrant
, sexy, and salacious sound sure to please anyone in the mood for love.
Just when you least expected it, in comes Colin Hay (former frontman of
Men At Work) with “Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You,” to set a jazzy
tone to the album. Often recognized as the “chic epitome of sultry southern
sass,” his music is rather sweeter and more laid back than the rest of
the featured tracks. However, he’s not the only one to represent the classic
rock genre on this one, other artists include the very compelling
singer/songwriter Nick Drake and the legendary duo, Simon and Garfunkel.
My personal take on these tracks is that it’s great music for rainy
days on the porch. In other words, songs that often lead you to pondering
what you wouldn’t naturally think on a daily basis.
There were two songs in particular that
were quite interesting: Iron & Wine’s haunting acoustic interpretation
of the Postal Services’ originally synth-pop version of “Such Great
Height” and the Cary Brothers’ mellow, “Blue Eyes”. I personally preferred
The Postal Service’s original version of the song, but Iron & Wine
did take up the challenge in giving it a different twist and almost making
it feel as if it were theirs to begin with. As for “Blue Eyes” the Cary
Brothers did a magnificent job in setting an idyllic scenery, as
you were in candle lit room sitting by a window staring at the moon. Cliched
as it seems, yet powerful in meaning.
Like any album it possesses both weak and
strong points. In doing so, the two weak moments that I recognized were
Remy Zero’s “Fair” and Bonnie Somerville’s “Winding Road”. Remy Zero comes
across too generic. They in no way set themselves apart from every other
rock band that we’ve heard over the past decade; nothing ground breaking
or unique, just plain mediocre. Bonnie Somerville suffers a similar fate,
her vocals sound like every other female contemporary artist out there.
Nothing impressing made on her behalf and the lyrics were too bland for
my taste. Again another ordinary track.
Last but not least, my favorite track of
them all had to be the two Frous’ “Let Go”. Forever their song will be
synonymous to the initial trailer. However, it was because of this song
that drew my attention to the movie and soundtrack in the first place.
Sometimes first impressions are everything and one of those times happens
to be right now. Frou Frou is a musical collaboration between singer/ songwriter
Imogen Heap and producer Guy Sigsworth. This powerful duo’s music is a
guarantee to get your veins pulsating like crazy. What really captivated
me most was Imogen’s atmospheric and strangely caressing voice, implemented
with unworldly music.
The first thoughts that crossed my mind
as I listened to Imogen’s every word was as if I were intentionally drowning
myself in a sea of obscurity, with my eyes fixated upon the azurish
stratosphere and cotton candy clouds were streaming peacefully. Moments
after the connection between the sea and sky were being made, only
flickers of color flashed before my eyes. Then I realized my corpse softly
settled to the bottom of the sea, with my scattered spirit witnessing the
entire thing. It was like a beautiful dream, yet morbid in a sense. By
no means was this a contemplation of suicide, just a personal interpretation
of the music and its effect on my conscience, meditation-like I suppose.
Overall the music selection for this disc
are on the mellower side but are still worth listening to. For the most
part I was very impressed by the selection of featured tracks. Even with
the two weak tracks I still believe they played a huge role in the
developing of the film. On a very rare occasion the strong points
of the album seems to have outweighed the weaker points. Without further
ado this soundtrack was very astounding and demonstrated the cohesive connection
between film and music, channeling emotional threads. If you are in search
of something soothing to the ears and the senses this album is a must.
Braff did a fabulous job on putting together the album and introducing
some underrated artists out there that definitely deserved the exposure.
More on the Soundtrack
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