Film / Music

Zach Braff’s A Good Person: Soundtrack and Original Score Review [Mercury Classics]

When Zach Braff is in the Writer/Director seat, his filmography is always very precise in its storytelling. He’s eager to offer out emotive, human tales with more than a number of welcome hits of reality, and it’s definitely my bag. And, like so many of you, I even backed Wish I Was Here on Kickstarter back in 2014, and Garden State was a revelation in its style, substance and soundtrack in 2004, and a film that entered my life and stayed with me ever since.

His new film, A Good Person, stars an absolute gem of the current crop of highly talented young actors in the shape of Florence Pugh, who excels every time, and teams it up with Morgan Freeman getting one of the best roles, and performances he’s had in recent times. This is because Braff allows his actors to breathe, to feel the story and let the moments tell the tale, whatever level the emotional hit is in the centre.

With the film release out now in the UK, today I focus on the two soundtracks to back up this wealth of meditative work, and there’s little doubt they enhance the film and the stories they’re telling. First up is the Music from the Original Motion Picture A Good Person,which kicks off with The Velvet Underground’s After Hours, one of the few songs from the band that features vocals from drummer Moe Tucker – and it sounds like it could be release now despite it being over 50 years old.

For me, this selection of songs is another masterclass from Braff’s own catalogue of music love, and a fine introduction to a few bands I didn’t know, and all are appreciated. There’s a lovely UK-link with Bristol-based Fenne Lilly’s 2021 track Hypochondriac keeping a mellow vibe, plus Leona Naess closing off proceedings with On My Mind. There’s also Lizzie McAlpine’s To the Mountains and Cary Brothers track Stardust, which he also performs in the film. As well as this you’ve got the likes of Del Water Gap, and Bonny Light Horseman with great tracks I’m still learning, plus the debut of Florence Pugh as a music artist in her own right with The Best Part and the exquisitely produced I Hate Myself, which she wrote as her character Allison, when she was getting in the headspace for the character.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for A Good Person is from none-other-than Mr Bryce Dessner, of The National, and between him and his brother of late, those chaps are ruling the game and rewriting the rules – in all the best musical senses.

This score fits in perfectly with the soundtrack itself and creates its own worlds through Dessner’s clever approach to reflecting and complimenting the complexity of the emotions that the film holds in such raw honesty.

While some are momentary snippets of music, Dessner has created a beautiful score, packed full of heart and you can feel those distresses amongst the memories, which works because this is a score dipped in poignant reflection and immersive soundscapes. Overall, it’s easy to spend time drifting contentedly with both the soundtrack and the score, it’s a graciously melancholic journey, and an emotively curated collection that’s out now!

Order the ‘Music From’ vinyl here:

Order the ‘Original Score’ here:

Directed by Zach Braff, A Good Person is out now in the UK, it stars Florence Pugh, Celeste O’Connor, Zoe Lister-Jones, Molly Shannon, and Morgan Freeman


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