Review: The Last Kiss

Zach Braff does it again

Amanda Dalal, Staff writer

After winning a Grammy for his immensely popular soundtrack for Garden State, Zach Braff has done it again with The Last Kiss. Both albums give the listener a feeling of intimacy and a deeper understanding of Braff, as no doubt he’s put together this group of music from his personal library. Shining the spotlight on lesser-known, often independent artists, Braff’s Garden State soundtrack made bands like the Shins a recognizable name today.

In the soundtrack for his new movie The Last Kiss, Braff features returning artists Remy Zero, The Cary Brothers, and Coldplay, and introduces us to new artists like Turin Brakes, Athlete, and Joshua Radin. Imogen Heap of Frou Frou also makes an appearance.

Radin’s first track on the album, “Star Mile” is a slow, soft folk-song, akin to Iron and Wine or even Simon and Garfunkel. The song carries a beautiful melody and quiet vocals, as if Radin is singing you a secret. Radin’s second song on the album “Paperweight” is a duet with Schuyler Fisk, and has a bit more volume than “Star Mile” while still retaining a personal and delicate feeling.

Immediately following “Star Mile” is the peppy, appropriately named “Pain Killer” by London band Turin Brakes. The kind of song you’d turn up when you’ve got the top down, “Pain Killer” is quickly addictive.

“Hide and Seek” from Imogen Heap is another amazing addition. Heap sounds like she is singing into a voice synthesizer throughout the song, which in theory seems strange, but produces an incredible harmonious sound. Although at times it seems a little distracting, Heap’s vocals are enchanting. It’s easily my favorite song on the album.

Rachel Yamagata is another fresh female voice, and her song “Reason Why” is the epitome of this genre, with thoughtfully placed lyrics “You only wanted me / the way you wanted me” paired with a great piano melody. The song conveys the emotion of the subject with lightly regretful honesty.

The Last Kiss Original Soundtrack is more than just a collection of songs – it’s a connection to these artists, Braff, and the generation he is striving to identify with. Even if you don’t see the movie (which I haven’t) this soundtrack will still speak to you. It’s carefully thought, well-placed ups and downs are personal and beautiful.

Even though Braff is a phenomenal actor and writer, a piece of me longs for more films for him just for the soundtracks I know he’ll put together, and the music I can’t wait for him to introduce to the world.