Over the past couple of weeks Zach Braff has been releasing songs off the soundtrack to his new movie Wish I Was Here, and the one thing I cannot begrudge Braff for is his taste in music. Last week NPR premiered a lovely song by Bon Iver called "Heavenly Father;" this week a sweet ballad by Cat Power and Coldplay named for the film.
Braff, with his specific brand of white, middle class malaise, has become a walking punchline in the 10 years since Garden State premiered, and the fact that his semi-Kickstarter-funded follow-up seems to resemble his first outing in many ways doesn't help.
Garden State certainly has its problems—though Vulture's Jesse David Fox made a good case in defending the movie last year—and I can argue that I was blind to them when the movie came out. (I desperately wanted to emulate Natalie Portman's manic pixie dream girl, imagining quirk was a substitute for being genuinely interesting.) Still, I'm not going to recant any of my affection for the soundtrack.
As Fox explained in his essay last year, the soundtrack, "was as taste-defining as any soundtrack since Romeo + Juliet. Garden State, along with The O.C., paved the way for the Grey's Anatomying of indie music and helped develop the hipster middlebrow that is simultaneously too hip for the unhip and too unhip for the hip."