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Reviewed by - Matt Rowe

Various Artists
Catch and Release

Romantic comedies are a lucky sort in many ways. They appeal to a wider range of people (ladies in general) but often have the more interesting soundtrack collections of popular songs. The Jennifer Garner film, Catch and Release, is no different. Of course, pairing songs with specific scenes in a film is a tricky business as the songs must not only capture the moment and create a memory checkpoint for film-watchers; it must also work with the rest of the songs, bridging the film. Imagine a punk song with a folk tune…rarely will that combination work. The rule of thumb is that the songs must target and speak to the audience that the film is made for.

The film, in a nutshell, tells the story of a young bride-to-be (Jennifer Garner) who loses her fiancé in a tragic accident during his bachelor party. She is forced to weed through the ensuing muck to find herself again. The film cast includes Kevin Smith (Clerks/Jay and Silent Bob), Juliette Lewis (no stranger to all kinds of film), and Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood). And so, there are going to be lots of sad and intriguing moments while the lead character rediscovers herself and travels along new paths. These songs will fit those moods.

The 17 tracks found on this album are current songs and all of them are surprisingly good with an emotional undercurrent in them. That is worth mileage in a film of this type. The opening number is a song from Foo Fighters, “Razor.” It sets the tone for the album with its decidedly softer, bluesy approach. As the songs progress, you can easily determine the moments that they could be used for in the film.

As a collection of songs, this album is decent, if not typical, in the filmmaker’s (Susannah Grant in her directorial debut) song selection. There are definitely standout tracks that include “Pills” from Gary Jules, who has an almost Nick Drake feel (posthumously, Nick Drake has had a great run in films) to his song, the preceding old-school sounding “Mornings Eleven” from The Magic Numbers, and an edgy “Sky Signal” from Audible. Also, keep an ear out for New Radiant Storm King as their contribution to this soundtrack is an electric “The Winding Staircase.” Personally, I really enjoyed “discovering” Andrew Rodriguez with his “What I Done.”

The only thing left for me to do is to catch the film.

Release Date: January 23, 2007
Produced by: Jenna Topping
Format: CD

Track Listing:

Razor (Foo Fighters) / My Drug Buddy (The Lemonheads) / A Nest For Two (Blinker the Star) / Mornings Eleven (The Magic Numbers) / Electrified and Ripe (Steve Durand) / The Winding Staircase (New Radiant Storm King) / Sky Signal (Audible) / Leaving the Ground (Peter Maclaggan) / What If You (Joshua Radin) / These 3 Sins (Gomez) / Resistance (Alaska!) / Let the Bad Times Roll (Paul Westerberg) / Turning Blue (The Swallows) / What I Done (Andrew Rodriguez) / Soul Meets Body (Death Cab For Cutie) / There Goes The Fear (Doves).

Various Artists:

See Track Listing

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