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Garden State soundtrack is a masterpiece

Becca Saunders | Thursday, September 30, 2004

The “Garden State” soundtrack is incredible. While that sentence pretty much says it all, there is still some elaboration to be made. Although this album has the advantage of being composed of some of the best songs from different terrifically unique artists, it still shines as a soundtrack thoughtfully chosen and well organized. The song order runs parallel to the order of the songs in the film “Garden State” which was written, directed and starred in by Zach Braff (better known for his role in NBC’s “Scrubs”). Braff apparently has a terrific taste in music, as is apparent in the selection of tracks for the film. From two songs from Indie band The Shins, to a stirring ballad from the universally-popular band Coldplay, to a classic from Simon & Garfunkel, the selection of tracks is varied in artist selection. Overall, the “Garden State” soundtrack has a generally mellow tone throughout its entirety. This album is perfect for studying, hanging out and especially perfect for listening to again and again and again. With a variety of artists, it is nearly impossible to become tired of hearing each unique song repeatedly. There are not many immensely popular songs on the album, which strengthens the case for the soundtrack further, as any music fan cannot help but become interested in some of the artists that are new to them. Great songs run throughout it, but some of the really outstanding tracks include the Cary Brothers “Blue Eyes,” “In the Waiting Line” by Zero 7, “New Slang” from The Shins, “Let Go” from Frou Frou and “Such Great Heights” from Iron and Wine. However, this list hardly conveys the impressiveness of basically 13 terrific songs all complied on one album that is not burned, but legally bought and paid for. The experience of the “Garden State” soundtrack is one that no dedicated music fan should go without. There is just not anything bad to say about it. Soundtracks have a definite advantage over most albums. While albums from an artist can at most showcase different sides of that single artist’s talents, soundtracks showcase different songs of different artists, and generally they are the good songs from these artists. The “Garden State” soundtrack stands out on the count of not falling into showcasing a bunch of big name artists to sell the soundtrack and play behind the trailer. There is no Liz Phair or Michelle Branch ballad to excite the attention of potential viewers crowding the originality of this soundtrack. The artists on the album are generally those with smaller followings, as is abundantly appropriately for an independent film soundtrack. The film has built a small cult following due to its terrific reputation, and as such the soundtrack gives these terrific artists the same chance develop similar cult followings.It is entirely possible that a listener may not enjoy a track or two – although that is probably a stretch of the imagination – but 12 out of 13 is terrific odds. That said, there is not much more to explain beyond the fact that the “Garden State” soundtrack is good, great, and spectacular. It is impossible not to become addicted to the soft sounds of all the different artists. The different sounds from the varied artists keep one’s attention easily, and the songs are generally provocative and well written and composed. Long story short, this album is incredible and anyone vaguely interested in smaller and less popular artists owes it to themselves to go buy the “Garden State” soundtrack – as quickly as possible.