Review Summary: An indie sampler plate
The Garden State
soundtrack swells with an even-keeled spontaneity; a sort of modesty brought about by its unequivocal beauty and effortlessly fluid progression. The album could be seen as a blend of several indie subgenres, each one surfacing with unique temptations designed to rope you in. There is the way that the sinister undertones of ‘In the Waiting Line’ invite you to further explore all of Zero 7’s ethereal creations, the way that Colin Hay’s ‘I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You’ introduces a heart-on-your-sleeve acoustic style of balladry – and least we forget, the spiritually uplifting nature of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Only Living Boy In New York.’ With songs spanning nearly four decades, Garden State
truly feels like the definitive retrospective of alternative and indie music – a timeline, if you will, of the genre leading up to its present glory. Some of Garden State
’s most breathtaking moments are made so by the accompanying musical backdrop. At its most poignant, Remy Zero’s raw and emotionally profound ‘Fair’ leads the way. Iron & Wine’s cover of ‘Such Great Heights’ lends itself to the film’s soft-spoken sense of sophistication. The Shins, making two contributions, highlight the slowly unraveling plot with their brand of chilled, atmospheric mid-tempo rock. Upon hearing those tracks now, it is hard not to be taken back to the scene where Natalie Portman introduces Zach Braff to their song ‘New Slang’, stating “You gotta hear this one song. It will change your life, I swear.” In a way, that’s how Garden State
’s soundtrack works. If you have never gotten into indie before, all bets are that you will find something stunningly you
in here. From the most immediate (Coldplay) to the more subtle (Thievery Corporation), it is nearly impossible not to relate to at least a few of the tracks this has to offer. And as for the hipsters, well…listening to Nick Drake’s ‘One of These Things First’ never gets old, does it?