Various Artists

Garden State: Music from the Motion Picture

With Garden State, writer/director and co-star Zach Braff delivers an entertaining yarn about a 20-something living in a Valium-induced haze who returns home upon learning of his mother’s death. The accompanying soundtrack features songs, picked by Braff himself, that perfectly convey the subdued tone of the film and become almost as important to the story as the characters themselves. And in turn the film’s impeccable cinematography leaves its distinct mark on songs like Coldplay’s “Don’t Panic,” and Zero 7’s “In the Waiting Line.” But it’s The Shins’ “New Slang” and the scene where Natalie Portman’s character, Sam, insists, “You gotta hear this one song; it’ll change your life, I promise you,” that steal the show. While the song didn’t necessarily change my life, dammit if I didn’t play it on repeat in my headphones for a month straight.