Lost in Translation (soundtrack)

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.

Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation OST cover.jpg
Soundtrack album to Lost in Translation
ReleasedSeptember 9, 2003
LabelEmperor Norton
ProducerBrian Reitzell (exec.)
Singles from Lost in Translation
  1. "City Girl"
    Released: June 2003
Alternative cover
Lost in Translation OST alt cover.jpg


Coppola said much of the soundtrack consisted of songs that she "liked and had been listening to",[1] and she worked with Reitzell to make Tokyo dream pop mixes to assist her writing of the film.[2] Several of the tracks in these mixes were ultimately included in the soundtrack, including "Just Like Honey", as well as "Tommib" by Squarepusher and "Girls" by Death in Vegas.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]



Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [7]
Drowned in Sound8/10[8]

Upon its release, the 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.[6] 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."[7] Critic Gareth Dobson of Drowned in Sound said the soundtrack "gently guides you through a myriad of woozy joys", and called it "a beautifully-fashioned record that works completely outside of its film setting but also acts as a haunting centrepiece to the movie itself."[10] Similarly, Consequence of Sound critic Frank Mojica called the music "the third star of the picture", adding that "[t]he atmospherics of shoegaze dream pop and the feelings of longing they evoke, coupled with the beauty of sadness, reflect the emotions and moods throughout the film".[11] 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."[9] Andrew Unterberger of Stylus Magazine described the soundtrack as "disappointing, but still a worthy purchase."[12]


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."[5] The head of one record label, Sonic Cathedral, cited the soundtrack as an important factor that led to a resurgence of the genre.[13] The soundtrack has been placed on several "best of" lists, including Rolling Stone's "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time" at number 22,[14] Pitchfork's "The 50 Best Movie Soundtracks of All Time" at number 7,[15] and "The 20 Soundtracks That Defined The 2000s" by Empire.[16]

Track listingEdit

1."Intro / Tokyo[a]"  0:34
2."City Girl"Kevin ShieldsKevin Shields3:48
3."Fantino"Sébastien TellierSébastien Tellier3:12
4."Tommib"Tom JenkinsonSquarepusher1:20
  • Tim Holmes
  • Richard McGuire
Death in Vegas4:26
6."Goodbye"ShieldsKevin Shields2:32
7."Too Young"PhoenixPhoenix3:18
8."Kaze wo Atsumete"Happy End4:06
9."On the Subway"Brian Reitzell and Roger J. Manning Jr.1:10
10."Ikebana"ShieldsKevin Shields1:38
11."Sometimes"ShieldsMy Bloody Valentine5:19
12."Alone in Kyoto"Air4:47
  • Manning
  • Reitzell
Brian Reitzell and Roger J. Manning Jr.3:26
14."Are You Awake?"ShieldsKevin Shields1:35
15."Just Like Honey"The Jesus and Mary Chain11:02
16."More Than This" (hidden track at the end of track 15, only available on the CD version of the soundtrack.)Bryan FerryBill Murray with Roger J. Manning Jr. and Brian Reitzell1:35
Japanese edition bonus track[17]
16."50 Floors Up" (contains the hidden track "More Than This")Manning, ReitzellBrian Reitzell and Roger J. Manning Jr.12:58


  • ^[a] "Intro / Tokyo" contains samples from the following tracks performed by Yellow Generation: "Lost Generation", composed by Sora Izumikawa; "Kitakaze To Taiyo", composed by Miki Watanabe; and "Carpe Diem – Ima Konoshunkanwo Ikiru", composed by Akinori Kumata. All lyrics were written by Masato Ochi.


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


Chart (2003–04) Peak
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[18] 61
French Albums Chart[19] 33
UK Compilation Albums Chart[20] 41
US Top Independent Albums[21] 13
US Top Soundtracks[21] 13


  1. ^ Stern, Marlow (Sep 12, 2013). "Sofia Coppola Discusses 'Lost in Translation' on Its 10th Anniversary". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Hundley, Jessica (September 11, 2003). "An invisible role". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Chumo, Peter N. II (January–February 2004). "Sofia Coppola". Creative Screenwriting. 11 (1): 60–61. ISSN 1084-8665.
  5. ^ a b Mojica, Frank (May 26, 2010). "Cinema Sounds: Lost in Translation". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Lost in Translation OST". Metacritic. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Lost in Translation – Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
  8. ^ Dobson, Gareth (January 15, 2004). "Lost In Translation: OST". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (October 1, 2003). "Lost in Translation OST". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  10. ^ Dobson, Gareth. "Lost In Translation: OST". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  11. ^ Mojica, Frank (May 26, 2010). "Cinema Sounds: Lost in Translation". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Urterberger, Andrew (2003-09-11). "Various Artists - Lost in Translation". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  13. ^ Bonner, Michael (November 3, 2017). "Going Blank Again: a history of shoegaze". Uncut. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Dolan, Jon; Hermes, Will; Hoard, Christian; Sheffield, Rob (August 29, 2013). "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "The 50 Best Movie Soundtracks of All Time". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 20, 2020. Note: Click on page 5
  16. ^ "The 20 Soundtracks That Defined The 2000s". Empire. May 19, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Lost In Translation Original Soundtrack [CD]". CDJapan. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
  18. ^ "Soundtrack – Lost In Translation" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  19. ^ "Soundtrack – Lost In Translation" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  20. ^ "Chart Log UK: Various Artists (Compilations)". The Zobbel Website. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Original Soundtrack – Lost in Translation : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2013.

External linksEdit