Reviewing the Garden State OST by Rohit Chandra : Sad Boi Corner Vol.1

Hello Music World. I'll do a short introduction. My name is Rohit, I'm Sonika's older brother and I share her passion/love for all things music. I thought it was appropriate that my writing debut begins with the "album" that introduced me to so much good music. I only put "album" in quotations because this is technically an Original Sound Track to the movie Garden State. This OST could easily be titled "Millennial Teenage Angst Soundtrack". If you've never seen the movie, you need to add it to your watch list. If you haven't heard the soundtrack, I'm sure many of these songs will be familiar to you. It's one of the few, if not only, sound tracks that I continue to listen to on a regular basis. 

This is what you came for anyway so let me get it out of the way. I like to do my ratings out of 7 because there's an equal amount of numbers above and below the middle (4). This OST gets a solid 6/7. It's in the "stop what you're doing and put this jawn on" tier for me. My rating is heavily influenced by the fact that this OST sparked my love for The Shins, Zero 7, Thievery Corporation and Iron & Wine. It's no wonder this OST won Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Pictures, Television or Other Visual Media. The Compilation Producer, was none other than Zach Braff, who is also the Writer, Director, and Lead Actor of Garden State. 

I am by no means a music critic. The depth of my analysis goes as far as, "huh, this kinda sounds like X". Instead of trying to be someone I'm not, I'll use this space to discuss what this album means to me and the time in my life that I found it. One of the most fascinating qualities of  music is it's ability to instantly transport me back to the time when I was listening to it the most. So let's get into it.
First up on the track list is Don't Panic by Coldplay: 

Bones, sinking like stones
All that we fought for
Homes, places we’ve grown
All of us are done for

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say Coldplay shaped my youth. If there was a version of Spotify Wrapped for my mp3 player in my teen years, Coldplay would be #1 for years. To be fair, Coldplay deserves their own post so I won't go into too much detail here. I will say that Don't Panic is the perfect opener for this OST and the message rings true in 2020. Coldplay's older stuff is way better than their new stuff. I draw the line at X&Y. 

Next up, Caring is Creepy by The Shins. 

I think I'll go home and mull this over
Before I cram it down my throat
At long last it's crashed, its colossal mass
Has broken up into bits in my moat

If you distill this OST into a 30 second clip, it would be the beginning of this song. The Shins are also the only artist to appear twice on this OST. There could be a more significant meaning to that, or it could just be that Zach Braff really likes The Shins. Every single time I hear this song I can see the Zach Braff and Natalie Portman yelling into the wind with their trash bag raincoats on. This selection on the OST really put The Shins on my map. I'm not a huge fan of classifying songs into genre's but this opened up Indie Rock for me in a big way. I would still classify Indie Rock as one of my top listened to genres. 
I'm gonna wrap up this post with the next track on this OST. In The Waiting line by Zero 7

Nine to Five
Living Lies
Stealing Time

I mean that kinda says it all right? Most of us are all just in the waiting line, going through the motions. This song and Track 9 - Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Corporation introduced me to a new genre that I fell in love with immediately. I scoured the internet for all the Zero 7/T.Corp albums I could find and had them on repeat for months. This led to the discovery of Groove Armada, Nightmares on Wax, Morcheeba, and another personal favorite, Boards of Canada. My 14 year old mind thought I was so cool for listening to a genre called Trip Hop and discovering artists my peers hadn't heard of. It definitely gave me a bit of a superiority complex. I suppose that's what happens when you get judged by your classmates for the tunes you're listening to on the bus. I still remember that the cool kids at the time all listened to Jack Johnson. If you wanted to fit in, a prerequisite was to go out and buy In Between Dreams on release day. Wild times...

Anyway, if you got this far in my post you deserve a medal for trudging through my disjointed commentary on an OST that came out 16 years ago. Thanks for reading and I'll catch you on the next one (if Sonika lets me post again...)

What's your opinion?

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