RECENT REVIEWS
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KINGS OF CONVENIENCE - RIOT ON AN EMPTY STREET

BEASTIE BOYS - TO THE 5 BOROUGHS

FROU FROU - DETAILS

IRON AND WINE - OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS

DILATED PEOPLES - NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

THE VINES - WINNING DAYS

MODEST MOUSE - GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS

THE GET UP KIDS - THE GUILT SHOW

THE CANSECOS

POSTAL SERVICE - GIVE UP

Sunday, January 09, 2005

GARDEN STATE SOUNDTRACK 

Album: Garden State Soundtrack
Artist: Various
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It seems with each movie that is being released (or should I say each quality movie that is being released), the films are becoming so much better at setting the tone of the film by incorporating a powerful soundtrack. Wes Anderson does that better than almost anyone, and first-time writer/director Zach Braff has done this perfectly in his new movie Garden State.

My review might be biased. For the last 4 years, I have been making mix CDs that basically equate to the soundtrack of my life. These help to remember what I was into, and what I was going through. Many of the same songs that have filled my mixes find there way onto Zach's soundtrack.

The soundtrack can be enjoyed by any one, even without seeing the movie (I guess anyone might be an exaggeration, and more accurately put, can be enjoyed by anyone who likes indie rock, interspersed with some classic songs). The fact it fits perfectly into the movie makes it that much better. Sadly, I think an accurate way to describe this CD is to say it is something you could hear in the GAP, or playing as you look for books in Chapters. Is that bad? Not really, Zach has simply chosen Indie songs that have mainstream appeal.

The opening track is Don't Panic by Coldplay. It sets the mood well, and the following songs include cuts by the Shins, Zero 7, Colin Hay (of Men at Work fame), Nick Drake, Iron & Wine, Frou Frou and Simon and Garfunkle.

New Slang by the Shins is one of the best Indie pop songs ever written. Is this a huge exaggeration and a statement that has no merit? Of course it is, but as a music nerd, I can honestly that this song has been popping up on mixes I have made since 2001. If I had to pick one song to be my song, this is it.

The mix of subtle electronic (Zero 7 and Frou Frou) and singer songwriter (Colin Hay, Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunk) tracks makes this album highly enjoyable and very diverse. It can be played over and over, and almost anyone who hears it will be able to identify with at least one of the tracks they hear.

The final touch that sold me on this soundtrack is the Postal Service cover song by Iron & Wine (Sam Beam). Postal Service is an electropop project featuring Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello that became every indie kids wet dream last year. Sam Beam makes this cover his own by softly singing his vocal lines over the delicately plucked sounds of his banjo.

I don't usually give glowing reviews, but this CD is as good a mix as can be made, but maybe that is only because it is one I would and have made.

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