There aren’t many television shows that use music to supplement the existing content and story. Some shows use music as filler, the songs seem to be there just to be there. Scrubs is one those rare shows that doesn’t just use music because it can. The music is specifically chosen to compliment the characters and themes in such a way that listening to a song reminds you of that particular scene in the show where the song was used.
“Scrubs has been a music-driven show from the beginning,” says the series creator, Bill Lawrence. “The writers and actors on the show have taken pride in seeing bands and finding new music and we hope people enjoy it as much as we do.”
A sequel to its first soundtrack, Volume Two spotlights the best musical moments from the Emmy award-winning series. I’m going to pretend that I’m the hugest Scrubs fan, so I can’t even begin to pretend that I know what specific scene each song plays in. I can tell you where you can find out which episode the song was featured in: the official Scrubs website.
The dominant sound in Scrubs is alternative and acoustic alternative (Zack Braff and his character J.D.’s favorite music by the way). Rhett Miller provides two songs, one in the form of the very upbeat solo record “Our Love” and the other in the form of his band Old 97’s acoustic ballad “Question.” Acoustic ballads are integral in the show because there are many moments of melancholy, awakening, and tenderness. Songs from singer-songwriters like Joseph Arthur (“In The Sun”), Cary Brothers (“Honestly”), and Joshua Radin (“Winter”) help emphasize how sensitive and vulnerable life can make us.
But life can also be very enjoyably joyful. The infectious “I Want To Know” from country rockers The Mavericks starts the album to remind everyone that Scrubs is first and foremost a comedy that should make everyone happy. The Coral includes their very cheerful pop tune “Dreaming Of You” that is very reminiscent of all things Neil Diamond. The choral symphonic pop group The Polyphonic Spree is also on the soundtrack with its euphoric medley “Section 9 (Light & Day / Reach For The Sun).” While the song might seem oddly placed, Martin Sexton’s folk tune “Diner” almost perfectly resembles J.D. and his wacky personality.
The album ends with the sorrowful “Sideways” by Citizen Cope. This song played during the episode where Dr. Kelso chooses a rich man to participate in a special drug trial that might save him from terminal cancer over a poor man with the same condition. Even though Dr. Kelso portrays himself as a man who doesn’t care about his patients, he leaves the hospital visibly shaken for having made that decision. It’s probably one of the most powerful moments in the show’s five seasons.
This album is available exclusively for purchase through Apple’s iTunes Music Store.