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4.5 out of 5 stars28
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on 10 September 2012
This will be a very honest review of each song on the soundtrack, and whether or not you should spend your cash on the whole CD, or just individual MP3 songs - long story short, every song is unique and this deserves to be bought, but you're reading this for a reason. As a whole, I love the soundtrack, I've listened to it 4 times through so far, and I still can't get enough of it. The songs fit so perfectly with the film, I'd like to know who was in charge of selecting them because they have exceptional taste. Onto the review:

1. Intro/Tokyo (Various Artists) - A very short track, 34 seconds long, it opens with an ominous bong sound, I forget what it's called, before you hear what I imagine would be the sounds of everyday Tokyo on the streets, lots of hustle and bustle, people talking, announcements being made, cars, horns etc.

2. City Girl (Kevin Shields) - Kevin Shields made this song for Lost In Translation, while he was still in hiatus from My Bloody Valentine who weren't together at the time. The track drifts along nicely, it's easy listening, with superb guitar work, lots of nice effects in the background I can't quite place, and dreamy vocals. It's like you're in a dream when you're hearing this song, very very good, 5/5.

3. Fantino (Sebastien Tellier) - A hugely talented musician, Tellier brings a sense of emptiness to the soundtrack, when Charlotte is bored and wants to start discovering herself in Tokyo. My only complaint is it isn't longer, I wouldn't say it's essential, in my opinion, it's still very good but feels slightly out of place. 4/5.

4. Tommib (Squarepusher) - An uterly compelling song, I'm mesmorised by it. Again it's too short, far too short in this case, an extended version on Youtube wouldn't go amiss *hint hint*. People have said the song reminds them of lost relatives, it's the song they want played at their parents/friends/etc funeral. I wouldn't go that far, but it is I think the 2nd best song on the soundtrack. 5/5

5. Girls (Death In Vegas) - The most famous song on the soundtrack, hugely known now because it was used when you first see Bill Murray sleeping in the taxi arriving in Tokyo. The dream effect comes back here, to me it portrays something that's too much for you to comprehend, in this case the massive city of Tokyo, and how confusing it can be for a foreigner. A brilliant song. 5/5

6. Goodbye (Kevin Shields) - I can't remember where this fits in with the film, surely it must be obvious seeing as the song's called Goodbye, but then why would it be used not even halfway through the soundtrack? It's another beautiful song, I feel it's a little basic, it repeats a lot, I think he's trying to achieve the Brain Eno effect, but it's not a bad job either. 3.5/5

7. Too Young (Phoenix) - Having never heard of the band before, it initially sounded out of place, but on repeated listens it reveals its genius. I just read it's played when Bill and Scarlett are partying with the Japanese people in a club, and it fits in perfectly well when you know this. Just dance to it and have a great time. 5/5

8. Kaze Wo Atsumete (はっぴいえんど - Happy End) - This is a basic song, and reminds me a little of Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's, but obviously they're not at all similar. I don't really know what to say, it's a breezy song, it floats along nicely, what else can be said? I have no idea what they're saying but it sounds nice. 3.5/5

9. On The Subway (Brian Reitzell & Roger J. Manning Jr) - Amazing song yet again, but still not my favourite on the CD. It plays when Charlotte is 'on the subway' travelling around Tokyo. A techno/electronic/ambient song with hints of punk thrown in, to me anyway, the way the song closes out is technically brilliant, but it's jarring, ends too soon and slightly hampers the song. 3/5

10. Ikebana (Kevin Shields) - This plays when Charlotte stumbles across an Ikebana training session - flower arrangements basically. They rope her into making her own, it's a nice sweet scene, & another good moment in the film. 4/5

11. Sometimes (My Bloody Valentine) - A very interesting song, I've read the lyrics and still don't understand what it's about - lost love? Suicide? It's not a beautiful song to me, it's very good but it's not beautiful, I can't stop listening to it though, which is the sign of a good song. 4/5

12. Alone In Kyoto (Air) - This song is currently being used in a car advert, and so now you have a lot more people who know and like the song. It's beautiful, and memorising, and the best song on the CD by far. It's the best song, but it's not my favourite song, if that makes any sense, the last song is my favourite, because of how it fits in with the ending. 5/5

13. Shibuya (Brian Reitzell & Roger J. Manning Jr) - This plays when Charlotte walks through the Shibuya crossing, on the packed streets of Tokyo, and she sees the big advert on the side of the building. Just a small moment in the film, I can't describe it that much. The whole song doesn't play in the film either, only about a minute is used. 3/5

14. Are You Awake? (Kevin Shields) - This plays near the end of the film when Bob is close to leaving Tokyo for good, and Charlotte slips a note under the door which is the song name. They go downstairs I believe to the bar, and chat the night away, before an emotional goodbye that Bob thinks is the last one..

15. Just Like Honey & Hidden Track (The Jesus & Mary Chain, & Bill Murray) - My favourite song on the soundtrack, because it has a very strong message behind it, and it was a master-stroke getting this in the film. Let's analyse some of the lyrics. 'Moving up and so alive, In her honey dripping beehive.. Beehive.. It's good, so good, it's so good.. So good' -I take that to mean, either moving up and away from her constantly travelling husband, or from Bob Harris, or simply up and away from Tokyo and back home to the USA. You can take that meaning and apply it multiple ways. The other lyric, 'Walking back to you, Is the hardest thing that I can do.. That I can do for you.. For you' - Again, this could mean multiple things, either going back to her husband after her fling with Bob, or moving away from her husband and going with Bob for the rest of their lives. It means it's so hard to go back after the experience she's had with one or the other. So her fling with Bob might turn out to be serious and she leaves her husband, which is therefore the hardest thing to do, or she goes back to her husband, leaving behind the man who made her very happy in a strange foreign place in a short space of time. The other song, after about a soundless 8 minute gap, is the 'More Than This' song by Roxy Music that Murray sings at the karaoke bar with Charlotte and her friends. He actually does a good job! I like his rendition, and it's a great end to a great soundtrack. I have to give it 5/5 overall, the good songs far outweigh the ones not as good, even though they're still excellent to listen to. Buy it. Buy it now.
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on 28 January 2004
I have seen the film and thought it was good but not as good as the hype suggested at the time but it wasn't until after the film, when you begin to think about it that you recognise how good it was and this suggests only one thing to me, ANY FILM WHICH HAS A LASTING IMPRESSION USUALLY MEANS THAT IT HAS AN IMPRESSIVE AND INSPIRING SOUNDTRACK.
And this is no different, the soundtrack is stunning and beautiful and is perfect bus/car music. You all know what I mean you get up drowsy, make yourself a cup of coffee, join the rat race to work and you want something before you arrive to chill you out and to inspire and this really hits the spot. I have to say that this is the best, no.1. "easy listening" soundtrack I have ever bought and it knocks the socks off of all pretenders to the throne.
I can see myself playing this for ages and ages, a classic in the making and if you are on a tight budget like me and you want to seek beauty without shelling out for a di vinci this is a bargain!
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on 9 February 2005
If you liked the lost in translation movie (and I did, very much), then this album is a definite must. When I listen to it, I immediately remember all of the scenes from the movie as the music goes. My personal favorites are 'girls' (death in vegas, who also did the excellent album 'scorpio rising') and 'too young' (phoenix), which instantly brings back the memory of my favorite part of the film. The closing track 'just like honey' is fantastic. What else to say - there are squarepusher,air,my bloody valentine... as I realized (correct me if I'm wrong) Sofia Coppola choose the music herself - really good choice of tracks!
There is even a hidden track.
What I like the most about this album is that it combines the guitar sounds with electronica, but all tracks go together in harmony. Also the design of the cover book is excellent.
Buy this and enjoy!
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on 21 June 2007
Bought this cd because I couldnt get the Death in Vegas track, "Girls" out my mind (the ahh-haa... one), which is the play over on the menu screen on the DVD. I havent been disappointed. "Girls" and "Just Like Honey" (played at the end of the movie) are pure quality, and the other tracks are all growers. Just like the film I get something more out of the cd everytime I listen to it. Its well put together too, with a sleeve containing pictures from the movie that tell the story. The sounds are also in line with the DVD, so if you want its easy to imagine where you are. And if that wasnt enough, if you are a fan of the film then its worth getting this cd just for the bonus track at the end of "Just like honey"...
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on 1 March 2004
One of the best soundtracks in recent memory (the best since Morvern Callar - great music, shame about the movie), Lost in Translation is an evocative collection of tracks that recall the unique atmosphere of the film. My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields complements tracks by the likes of Squarepusher (in one of his more refrained moments) and Air (Alone in Kyoto - perhaps the strongest track on their poor recent album Talkie Walkie) with moments of Eno-esque ambience and MBV-style guitar 'pop'. The highlights however, if you don't already have these already, are Death In Vegas' 'Girls' (a cross between MBV and San Franciscan experimentalists Transient Waves), The Jesus & Mary Chain's 'Just Like Honey' (the film's sensational closer) and Sebastian Tellier's 'Fantino', which I know nothing about but sounds like something by Can. However, it is the overall coherence and mood that makes this better than an ordinary soundtrack, which is best listened too as a whole.
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on 5 February 2004
Having recently discovered I wasnt the only one with an almost unnatural love for this film, I feel more at ease with myself when I worship the film by listening to its soundtrack (the dvd is not out yet, darn). Breezy and with an indie sensibility, it pretty much sums up the feel of the movie. Especially Kevin Shields City Girl, Alone in Kyoto by Air, Girls by Death in Vegas and of course Just Like Honey By Jesus and Mary Chain. That song always brings me right back to that wonderful final scene. But I have to say that my favourite song is probably the hidden track. Bill Murray attempting to sing karaoke just goes straight to the heart. Its so... real. Just like the film. See the film. Buy the soundtrack and listen to it. Then see the film again. And again. And again.....
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on 3 December 2004
Thankfully, as a film that doesn't have explosions and action to fill the airwaves, the soundtrack is even more important as you are very aware of it the first time. The music beautifully captures the mood, the eloquence and the very simple joys found in the film that seem to have eluded some people who have watched it. I saw the film with a friend and at the end I came out feeling uplifted and touched. He just asked, so what was that all about? What was the point of it? Why didn't someone get shot or blow something up?
The dreamy quality of the movie puts you in a sort of trance like state, and the music is a significant factor of this, as well as the story. for me, music is all about feelings, and not just the latest teen angst, and this soundtrack brings many emotions to the surface. Classically beautiful and melodious at times, its unique and remarkable like the movie.
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on 2 March 2004
This captures the feeling in the film perfectly, and the film captured a feeling from life quite well- its like a wander into the zone of drifting through the complex and crazy world, yet somehow feeling good and elevated about not knowing where you're really heading because there is beauty and excitement to be experianced from a subtle view point. Its more than worth getting just for the Kevin Shields references, although all his contibutions are probably what see it through. City Girl does not disappoint, and I recall hearing it in the film and thinking how amazing it sounded. The MBV track 'Sometimes' sounds extra amazing in the context of this album. Other tracks all have merits, even the slightly cheezy 'Pheonix' (TOO YOUNG) works really well in the context. the DIvegas track sounds amazing here too- Its all working really well- if you enjoyed any music in the film, you'll love this.
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on 26 January 2004
Already one of the films of the year Sofia Coppola’s understated masterpiece is set to an eclectic soundtrack of alt rock and electronica. Played without the visuals it still perfectly captures the dreamy, bleary eyed, searching atmosphere of the film. Some of the best moments in the film were completely without dialogue, where Sofia left the Tokyo’s sea of people or the music simply mesmerise you. This is definitely a disc for when night falls and you’re trying to switch off from the world. Essential, if like me you just can’t get the film out of your head.
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on 13 February 2013
The music fits daytime/nighttime Tokyo like a glove. Sofia Coppola,Kevin Shields and the whole music team managed to pick and create music that is charming and romantic, but lifts the film from a Romantic Comedy to a Drama. Here is my Track-by-track review:

.Intro/Tokyo-Sound Effects -
A gong sounds.The airport ambiance fills the air.

.City Girl-Kevin Shields -
The first contribution by My Bloody Valentine's mastermind. Sounds eerily like 'only tomorrow', a track in their new album M B V. A great track which follows the previous track seamlessly
'City girl, you're beautiful'

.Fantino-Sebastien Tellier -
She applies lipstick, changes her hair and fits a cherry blossom lampshade (representative of how much she can embrace Japan at that moment). Fitting, monotonous and aching to push Charlotte from the Hyatt into Tokyo.

.Tommib-Squarepusher -
Charlotte looks out of her hotel window at the intimidating foreign city of Tokyo, the 45 second cut that accompanies this song is outstanding in sentiment and feeling. The track feels completely at home in the host of instumentals.

.Girls-Death In Vegas -
The second track of the film and the fifth in the soundtrack sees Bob asleep in a taxi against the barrage lights of colour in the Tokyo nightlife. To me the signature theme of Lost In Translation. Perfect atmosphere and soundscape for Lost in Translation.

.Goodbye-Kevin Shields -
The only track in which Kevin Shields shows his ambient prowess. Calm and powerful. Aches in the same veins as Fantino.

.Too young-Pheonix -
Okay, it was going to be hard for the transition between what I feel is the first and second halves of the Film (That's pre and post karaoke people for who have already watched the film) but Sofia probably had to put her much loved Pheonix into the film of her career. 'Too Young' passes across Charlie Brown's apartment, a perfect casual dance track
'Baby when I saw you turning at the end of the street'

.Kaze Wo Atsumete-Happy End -
In translation; I gathered the wind under my wings. This relaxing gem is belted out by Charlie Brown in the background whilst Bob and Charlotte share a cigarette outside the Karaoke room. An extremely iconic scene and Kaze Wo transports me instantly.

.On the subway-Brian Reitzell & Roger J. Manning Jr. -
A song accompannying Charlotte as she travels on the Japanese underground. The music pulses at the end like a train passing through a tunnel.

.Ikebana-Kevin Shields -
Amusing and otherworldly, Charlotte discovers the strange art of Japanese flower arranging. Minimalist guitar and light synth. Kevin Shields smallest contribution to the album is not his least.

.Sometimes-My Bloody Valentine -
Fantastic choice Ms Coppola. 'Sometimes' accompanies Bob and Charlotte in their taxi ride home across neon Japan. From the essential shoegaze album Loveless. The soothing ballad drenched in distortion against a bed of acoustic guitar captures the sentiment of Lost In Translation effortlessly. Fantastic.
'Close my eyes, feel me now'

.Alone In Kyoto-Air -
Charlotte visits a temple and witnesses a wedding. Frost fills the air and shiver's erupt from the synth chords that frame this track. Wood block and acoustic guitar leave the scene surprisingly spiritual.

.Shibuya-Brian Reitzell & Roger K. Manning Jr. -
Another Sound effect dominated track. Train noises sound the journey.

.Are You awake?-Kevin Shields -
The final contribution from Shields which is bass driven and laden with synths. Delivered by a letter to Bob.

.Just like Honey-The Jesus And Mary Chain -
The last track on this wonderful soundtrack as well as a final track on the film. The trip is over. Bob is leaving. And after delivering a secret message to Charlotte grins with an undying optimism as he returns to the taxi. Final shots of Tokyo fill the frame as he nears the airport. A fantastic track.
'Listen to the Girl, As she takes on half the world'

9.5/10 to Sofia Coppola and Co's satisfying and memorable soundtrack.
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