Zach Braff’s latest film, Wish I Was Here is sure to please fans of Garden State. However, even if you haven’t seen the film just yet, you can still have a listen to the movie’s stellar soundtrack. Here is my review of the album, track by track:
“So Now What” – The Shins: A catchy, upbeat song that follows in the tradition of “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang.”
“Broke Window” – Gary Jules: A mellow, folky tune perfect for fans of Cat Stevens and the like. Jules raspy voice and melodic guitar instrumental breaks make this the ideal song for long road trips!
“The Mute” – Radical Face: Another folky piece, “The Mute” sounds like a mellower version of a Mumford and Sons tune. With tambourines, drum beats, and airy vocals this song is well suited for a rainy day spent inside drinking coffee.
“Holocene” – Bon Iver: This song needs no introduction. If you aren’t familiar with this hauntingly beautiful song do yourself a favor and go download it now.
“The Shining” – Badly Drawn Boy: This is my personal favorite from the album. It is a bittersweet ballad with an indie/folk vibe and it definitely sets the tone for the film. It reminds me of “Here You Me” by Jimmy Eat World and if listened to by one’s self could easily bring a tear to one’s eye.
“Mexico” – Jump Little Children: Not the most memorable track of the album but still fun and worth listening to!
“Wish I Was Here” – Cat Power & Coldplay: Who knew that these two would collaborate together? The title song from the soundtrack, “Wish I Was Here” is short, sweet, and beautiful. Cat Power and Coldplay front man, Chris Martin’s unique voices blend well together and the simple lyrics make for a wonderful ballad!
“Wait It Out” – Allie Moss: Very singer/songwriter, Allie Moss favors Alanis Morissette and Anna Nalick but with less edge and more innocence.
“The Obvious Child” – Paul Simon: I am obsessed with this song. Fun, folky, catchy, upbeat and it’s Paul Simon. What more could one ask for? “The Obvious Child” follows in the tradition of Simon’s “Crazy Love”” and is one of the highlights of the album.
“Breathe In” – Japanese Wallpaper: Another bittersweet folky song that is equal parts beautiful and somber.
“Heavenly Father” – Bon Iver: A new song from the indie crooner, “Heavenly Father” is more dark and heavy than “Holocene” but is equally as captivating. If you have seen the film, it’s easy to see why Braff chose this song as it describes his character in the film’s turbulent relationship with his father.
“Raven’s Song” – Aaron Embry: Embry’s voice sounds like a younger Bob Dylan and his lyrics could also rival that of the folk legend. “Raven’s Song”
“Mend” – The Weepies: Can you say Joni Mitchell? This song is rather sad. Actually it’s very sad.
“No One To Let You Down” – The Head and the Heart: Another highlight of the album, “No One To Let You Down” could also serve as a possible theme song for the film. While it is hard for me to pick my favorite song from this album, this tune would certainly be in my top 5.
Bottom Line: The Wish I Was Here soundtrack is destined to introduce indie music to an even wider audience. I recommend downloading the album and listening to it on repeat. However, if you don’t have the time or patience for that, I suggest listening to the highlights mentioned earlier. But, then again there isn’t really a weak link in the track list so you’re better off downloading the album in its entirety and making time to take in Braff’s ultimate playlist.
Mallory Delchamp is a writer, model, and performer living in Manhattan. You can routinely read her film and music reviews here on Pop-Break and you can also check out her work on zumic.com and nytheatreguide.com. A social media and pop culture enthusiast, Mallory also enjoys musical theatre, superhero films, and drinking coffee. You can visit Mallory at her website, www.mallorydelchamp.com