ABC's modern medical soap Grey's Anatomy was music-savvy from its initial promotional push, pairing the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" to snippets of the cast cracking wise and learning about life as they tumbled through first-year residencies. Music licensing was nothing new for the Postal Service by the fall 2004 premiere season; their graceful indie electronica had already been featured in Garden State, Laguna Beach, you name it. But it was undoubtedly the comforting familiarity of the song to its target demographic that Grey's was likely after. (Alexandra Patsavas, the show's music supervisor, definitely understands how to pick tunes that are both substantial and influential -- she supervises The OC's soundtrack, too.) Released in anticipation of season two, Grey's Anatomy includes the show's theme -- performed by the London duo Psapp, it suggests a glitchy, pomo update of St. Elsewhere's intro music -- as well as tracks that fit generally into a category of literate indie. They're slightly fringe, but ultra-accessible. Ex-Moloko vocalist Roisin Murphy contributes the sassy Eurythmics nod "Ruby Blue" from her overlooked solo debut of the same name, while Tegan & Sara's anxiously redemptive "Where Does the Good Go" was seemingly made for a show about stress getting in the way of life. Get Set Go's "Wait" measures out dry Shins/Clem Snide-style romanticism, the Ditty Bops' Holly Hobby-and-Beatles songcraft comes alive on "There's a Girl," Inara George's torch folk is capable enough stand-in for the perpetually underrated Eleni Mandell, and Medeski, Martin & Wood's "End of the World Party" is an experiment in layered groove-building. Yes, on this soundtrack, even the instrumentals are distinctive. Grey's Anatomy has met the challenge of finding demographically pleasing music. But it explores beyond that boundary for some truly memorable songs, and never feels like a cash-in comp for easy cross-promotion.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus