Lost in Translation (soundtrack)

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Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation OST cover.jpg
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released September 9, 2003
Genre Alternative rock, shoegaze, electronic, dream pop
Length 53:48
Label Emperor Norton
Producer Brian Reitzell, Kevin Shields
Singles from Lost in Translation
  1. "City Girl"
    Released: June 2003
Alternative cover
Lost in Translation OST alt cover.jpg

Lost in Translation is the soundtrack from the 2003 film of the same name, directed by Sofia Coppola. The soundtrack was supervised by Brian Reitzell and was released on September 9, 2003 through Emperor Norton Records. It contains five songs by Kevin Shields, including one from his group My Bloody Valentine. Other artists featured on the soundtrack include Air, Death in Vegas, Squarepusher, Phoenix and The Jesus and Mary Chain.


Coppola said much of the soundtrack consisted of songs that she "liked and had been listening to", and she worked with Reitzell to make Tokyo dream pop mixes.[1]

Agathi Glezakos, an academic writing a review of Lost in Translation shortly after its release, wrote that the music in the film's karaoke scene constitutes a common "language" that allows Bob and Charlotte to connect with some of the Japanese people amidst their alienation.[2] In that scene, the rendition of the Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket" was selected to showcase a lively side of Charlotte, and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" was chosen to establish that Bob is from a different generation. Both Coppola and Murray finally selected Roxy Music's "More Than This" during the shoot itself because they liked the band and thought the lyrics fit the story.[3]

The songs that were featured in the film but didn't appear on the soundtrack include, “The State We’re In” by The Chemical Brothers, Patti Smith’s cover of “When Doves Cry”, and “Fuck The Pain Away” by Peaches.[4]



Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
Drowned in Sound8/10[7]

Upon its release, Lost in Translation soundtrack received positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 84, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 9 reviews.[5] Allmusic critic Heather Phares wrote: "Perfectly defined in its hazy beauty, this soundtrack loses nothing in its translation from a quietly wonderful movie into a quietly wonderful album."[6] Gareth Dobson of Drowned in Sound described the soundtrack as an "accompanying CD that's as good as the film itself," stating: "Musically, the OST to Lost In Translation is a spectacular triumph."[7] Mark Richardson of Pitchfork Media wrote: "For the most part, the tracks hang together and flow relatively well, orbiting the shimmering dreampop mass that serves as the record's unstated inspiration."[8] Andrew Unterberger of Stylus Magazine described the soundtrack as a "disappointing, but still a worthy purchase."[9]


Consequence of Sound critic Frank Mojica stated that "Lost in Translation is renowned for its soundtrack, and the music serves as the third star of the picture." On the film's possible legacy, Mojica also wrote: "One has to wonder how much of a role the film and its soundtrack had in the rebirth of shoegaze in the mid ’00s. After all, My Bloody Valentine eventually reformed, as did The Jesus and Mary Chain, with the latter performing with none other than Scarlett Johansson at their Coachella reunion."[4]

The soundtrack was placed at number 22 on Rolling Stone's list "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time."[10]

In 2013, the album was named as one of The 20 Soundtracks That Defined The 2000s by Empire magazine.[11]

Track listing[edit]

1."Intro/Tokyo"  0:34
2."City Girl"Kevin ShieldsKevin Shields3:48
3."Fantino"Sébastien TellierSébastien Tellier3:12
4."Tommib"Tom JenkinsonSquarepusher1:20
5."Girls"Tim Holmes, Richard McGuireDeath in Vegas4:26
6."Goodbye"ShieldsKevin Shields2:32
7."Too Young"PhoenixPhoenix3:18
8."Kaze wo Atsumete"Takashi Matsumoto, Haruomi HosonoHappy End4:06
9."On the Subway"Roger J. Manning Jr., Brian ReitzellBrian Reitzell and Roger J. Manning Jr.1:10
10."Ikebana"ShieldsKevin Shields1:38
11."Sometimes"ShieldsMy Bloody Valentine5:19
12."Alone in Kyoto"Jean-Benoît Dunckel, Nicolas GodinAir4:47
13."Shibuya"Manning, ReitzellBrian Reitzell and Roger J. Manning Jr.3:26
14."Are You Awake?"ShieldsKevin Shields1:35
15."Just Like Honey"James McLeish Reid, William ReidThe Jesus and Mary Chain11:02
16."More Than This" (hidden track at the end of track 15)Bryan FerryBill Murray with Roger J. Manning Jr. and Brian Reitzell1:35


  • Richard Beggs – sound design (1, 13)
  • James Brown – engineering (2, 6, 10, 14)
  • Nigel Godrich – mixing (12)
  • Dan Hersch – mastering
  • Bill Inglot – mastering
  • Rob Kirwan – engineering (2, 6, 10, 14)
  • Bryan Mills – engineering (2, 6, 10, 14); bass guitar (14)
  • Brian Reitzell – production (exec.); drums (2, 14)
  • Kevin Shields – production, engineering (2, 6, 10, 11, 14)
  • Justin Stanley – mixing (9, 13)


Chart (2003–04) Peak
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[13] 61
French Albums Chart[14] 33
UK Compilation Albums Chart[15] 41
US Top Independent Albums[16] 13
US Top Soundtracks[16] 13


  1. ^ Stern, Marlow (Sep 12, 2013). "Sofia Coppola Discusses 'Lost in Translation' on Its 10th Anniversary". The Daily Beast. Retrieved Feb 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ Glezakos, Agathi (15 October 2003). "Movie Review: Lost in Translation". Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. California State University, Long Beach. 9 (4): 71–72. ISSN 1080-0220. 
  3. ^ Chumo, Peter N. II (January–February 2004). "Sofia Coppola". Creative Screenwriting. 11 (1): 60–61. ISSN 1084-8665. 
  4. ^ a b Mojica, Frank (May 26, 2010). "Cinema Sounds: Lost in Translation". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Lost in Translation OST". Metacritic. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Lost in Translation – Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  7. ^ a b Dobson, Gareth (January 15, 2004). "Lost In Translation: OST". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (October 1, 2003). "Lost in Translation OST". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ Urterberger, Andrew (2003-09-11). "Various Artists - Lost in Translation". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time". Rolling Stone. August 29, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Feature - The 20 Soundtracks That Defined The 2000s". Empire. 
  12. ^ "Lost In Translation Original Soundtrack [CD]". CDJapan. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  13. ^ "Soundtrack – Lost In Translation" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Soundtrack – Lost In Translation" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chart Log UK: Various Artists (Compilations)". The Zobbel Website. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Original Soundtrack – Lost in Translation : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]