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Lost in Translation Soundtrack

4.4 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation features exclusive music from Kevin Shields (of My Bloody Valentine) and Air -- plus classic tracks from the Jesus & Mary Chain, Death In Vegas, My Bloody Valentine and Squarepusher.

Amazon.com

Sofia Coppola has, with two elegant movies, proved herself a talented director with a keen eye for interior life. She's also got great ears. For Lost in Translation, the story of a May-December friendship in Tokyo between two displaced Americans, the score is a tonic for jetlag. Coppola prescribes a dose of shoegazer pop, from My Bloody Valentine's chiming "Sometimes" to Jesus & Mary Chain's fuzzed-out "Just Like Honey." The music nails the hazy conscious state of actors Bill Murray (as a movie star with a midlife crisis) and Scarlet Johansson (as an emotionally marooned twenty-something). It also provides a safe, warm envelope in which they can enact their overseas adventures. Working with producer Brian Reitzell, whose band Air scored her previous Virgin Suicides, Coppola lured Valentine's Kevin Shields into providing several slices of dreamy indie-rock and sonic wallpaper, as stylish as it is formless. There's a welcome bit of Japanese goofiness, a funhouse-mirror reflection of U.S. folk-rock courtesy of early-1970s band Happy End. And a "hidden" track provides the audio of Murray, in the film, doing his sleepy karaoke version of Roxy Music's "More Than This." --Marc Weidenbaum

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Intro/Tokyo
  2. City Girl - Kevin Shields
  3. Fantino - Sebastian Tellier
  4. Tommib - Squarepusher
  5. Girls - Death In Vegas
  6. Goodbye - Kevin Shields
  7. Too Young - Phoenix
  8. Kaze Wo Atsumete - Happy End
  9. On The Subway - Brian Reitzell & Roger J Manning Jr
  10. Ikebana - Kevin Shields
  11. Sometimes - My Bloody Valentine
  12. Alone In Kyoto - Air
  13. Shibuya - Brian Reitzell & Roger J Manning Jr
  14. Are You Awake? - Kevin Shields
  15. Just Like Honey - The Jesus & Mary Chain


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 9, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: October 3, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Emperor Norton
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000B1A3S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Since picking up a copy last week, I've actually been very impressed by this soundtrack, particularly the pieces by Kevin Shields (the sole reason I purchased the disc). There's an admirable continuity to the album, and it does a remarkable job of evoking the romantic melancholy of Coppola's film. Certain songs perhaps grate a little, but there's nothing truly offensive or irritating on this disc. In fact, it's a marvellously serene album to have playing in the background whilst working, I've found. (only the rather weak Phoenix song seems slightly out of place amongst all of the lush instrumental pieces)
I've been a little surprised at some of the criticism I've read of the Shields' pieces, though. These are merely score pieces, written under the direction of Sofia Coppola and Brian Reitzell - and it's ridiculous to approach these four pieces expecting another `Soon' or `To Here Knows When'. The purpose of these songs is to accompany images, not to overshadow them - and assessed on those terms, I think that Kevin's contributions are excellent. Having said that, however, the four songs he contributes are still strong enough to stand on their own as individual pieces. (If you are nostalgic for MBV's screaming guitars, then seek out the stunning six-minute piece that Shields wrote for the LaLaLa Human Steps production `2' in the mid-90s instead.)
His first song on this soundtrack, `City Girl' is about the simple, rapt gaze of infatuation and has really grown on me over the last few days. It sounds quite similar to the MBV songs `Sugar' and `Cupid Come', and its fractured melody begins to make a great deal of sense on the second or third listen. It's also wonderful to hear Kevin's voice again.
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Format: Audio CD
Lost In Translation as a movie had a major impact on me. It got me to thinking about where I was going with my life and what it really means to be happy. As such I think of it as invaluable, and it was a given that I was going to buy a copy of the DVD.

In a more subtle way, the soundtrack is just as much a must-have for lovers of the movie. So many of the moods that Sofia Coppola sets depend heavily on visuals (particularly the night scenes of Tokyo ablaze in neon and bustling with activity) and sound (namely the music). It's hard for me now to look at a night-time cityscape of red lights atop buildings without thinking of Death In Vegas' "Girls."

There are other songs that grew on me more gradually but are no less important. "Sometimes" by My Bloody Valentine did not elicit a major reaction from me initially but before long I started to fall under its spell of fuzzy guitar chords and soothing vocals (yes it's hard to understand what the lyrics are, but the vocals are more like another instrument than a vessel for words). "Just Like Honey" by The Jesus and Mary Chain was a clear winner too -- I'm not sure how I did not get into this band sooner, considering how much I like some of their contemporaries such as The Cure.

But the short tracks that appear in between these songs -- "On the Subway," "Ikebana," "Alone in Kyoto," "Are You Awake," etc. -- these are the "audible wallpaper" that kind of hold everything together. Many people will complain that these atmospheric tracks are just filler, but don't buy into that simplistic argument. These are the tracks that you almost don't even notice because they fit into their respective scenes so perfectly.
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Comment 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Once in a while there's an album you can never get enough of. The soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's movie "Lost in Translation" belongs in that category. I first heard it a few months ago. The first time it was like: "What was that?" Such an eclectic work takes a bit of time to sink in, but after the second or third listen, you cannot avoid but acknowledge you're in front of an exquisite piece of art. Today it is always playing in my jukebox.
The high moments of the album carry the stamp of Irish guitarist and songwriter Kevin Shields (much like Cliff Martinez did back in 2001 with another splending soundtrack for the movie "Traffic"). His eclectic and impeccable four tracks are perfectly complemented with equally brilliant works by Air (who crafted the music for Coppola's previous movie, "The Virgin Suicides"), Brian Reitzell & Roger J. Manning Jr., My Bloody Valentine (Shields' musical alma matter) and an amazing closing track ("Just Like Honey") by The Jesus & Mary Chain.
Eclectic and beautiful, this is, without a shade of doubt, one of those albums that will stand the test of time, a rare and perfect gem that belongs in all serious musical collections.
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By A Customer on May 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
[...]
This link has what most of the songs are and where in the movie they are played.
Comment 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ok. My review is going to be biased and prejudicial. I PREORDERED
this CD because I was so excited about seeing the film, I wanted
to be "ready" to match the music to the images on screen. This
compilation is ambient and beautiful. It is sometimes serene then
playful...and sometimes heartbreaking. But the REAL REASON this
cd brought me to tears was there is a HIDDEN TRACK, people!! At
the end of #15...wait until 11:00 minutes or so and you'll be treated to BILL MURRAY's karakoe version of "More Than This". I
would buy this CD AGAIN..just for the 1 minute of his soul wrench
ing beauty that captures the spirit of "Lost In Translation".
Thank You.
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