Wish I Was Here, directed by and starring Zach Braff, follows the heartfelt journey of a 35 year old man that struggles with his acting career and family while searching for meaning in his life. The soundtrack, also produced by Zach Braff, supports the journey of protagonist, Aidan Bloom and his family, with a mix of gentle, low-key and wistful tunes.
The fifteen track compilation walked a fine line between pleasant and melancholy. It begins somewhat rosy and serene with music by The Shins and Gary Jules. However the tone becomes bleak and daunting by the time we arrive at Cat Power and Cold Play’s collaboration, followed by the somber melodies of Allie Moss.
Suddenly, like a joyous parade, Paul Simon shows up at track 10 to brighten the mood a little with, “The Obvious Child.” The brass ensemble that prefaced the song, sounded like a marching band and proved to be festive and heartening. I was about to fall asleep until Paul Simon came around to wake me up.
The soundtrack turned dreary once again with the chilling voice of Wafia, singing for the Australian indie band, Japanese Wallpaper. The album steadily maintains this demeanor for the duration of the album.
On track twelve, Bon Iver appears for the second time on the album, with “Heavenly Father,” which sounded like a cross between a church hymn and some kind of electronic trance music. The intro was some unidentifiable noise I couldn’t stand and it continued throughout the song, in the background, although it was all I could seem to hear. Some people don’t notice or aren’t bothered by repetitive noises like that, but it ruined the whole song for me. I felt like it would have been a fine song without the on-going electronic humming. What was that, a kazoo? Did somebody’s cat sit on the key board? It sounded like a swarm of bees caught in a lawn mower.
If you’re in the mood for some easy listening, while reading or studying, this I’d recommend putting on the Wish I Was Here soundtrack. Just skip track 12. I didn’t bother to see the movie because after reading the premise online, I realized that I already saw Garden State. This soundtrack is exactly what you would expect to hear of a Zach Braff movie. For more information on the movie and its soundtrack, check out www.wishiwasheremovie.com.