CD Review of Catch and Release by Various Artists

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Catch and Release
starstarstarno starno star Label: Sony Music Soundtrax
Released: 2007
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The press kit accompanying Catch and Release promises “a collection of songs with all the charm, allure and energy of the ‘Garden State’ soundtrack,” a classic bit of unintentionally alarming marketing hyperbole if ever there was one, especially since the album in question provides the musical backdrop for a romantic dramedy starring Jennifer Garner. Anyone concerned with the effect of the damnable Zach Braff on movie soundtracks everywhere would do well to avoid Catch and Release – it’s stuffed to the brim with horribly named indie acts like Blinker the Star and New Radiant Storm King. Oh, sure, there are (previously released) cuts from Foo Fighters and Paul Westerberg here, but they do not rock; this compilation’s heart lies in the gentle strains of Dave Loggins-worshiping pussies like Josh Radin.

Time was, in order to assemble a proper soundtrack, you’d need at least one song from a top-selling artist; maybe Bryan Adams didn’t have much to do with Robin Hood or Don Juan de Marco, but he moved units, and that was good enough. These days, all you’ve got to do is strum a few plaintive chords on your acoustic guitar, double-track some mumbling vocals, and presto – instant soundtrack.

Kids these days. They don’t know how to do anything right. Soundtracks are supposed to make you want to take your best girl to the ocean and stare meaningfully into her eyes, not buy a Volkswagen and drive around looking sad for no goddamn reason. What’s this world coming to? More importantly, how are Celine Dion and Aerosmith supposed to make their yacht payments with these indie assholes hogging all the soundtrack cuts?

In all seriousness, Catch and Release isn’t all that bad; a better title for this might have been A Very Sad Day at the Gap, and there probably wasn’t any reason to make it 17 songs long, but it’ll still sound great in dorm rooms and Cabrios across America. Still, though, it’ll be interesting to watch this particular soundtrack cycle eat itself, hopefully via a Death Cab for Cutie/Gary Jules/Magic Numbers remake of “All for Love.

~Jeff Giles